imagesDr Carrie Decker ND, explores some of the main methodologies and practices employed in  translational research. Supporting patients in their health with nutritional supplements and botanical therapies often requires one to draw upon a wide variety of academic resources. This ranges from clinical training and continuing education to searchable databases which provide easy access to a broad spectrum of research on nutritional supplements. Anyone who has ever looked for clinical studies on the topic of nutritional or botanical interventions understands this research is far lacking, is often poor quality or a non-placebo controlled study, and the population size, if human data exists, is small. For this reason, it is important to understand what can best be gained from other types of studies.

Symbiosis between the gastrointestinal microbiota and the host is the basis for these health benefits. In exchange for a stable environment and adequate nutrients, the microbiota play a role in maturation of the gastrointestinal tract, provide the host with nutritional contributions and help safeguard the host from harmful microbes. When this symbiosis is disturbed, introduction