Human microbiome brings new insights to traditional Chinese medicine

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Abstract

The human microbiome has become a new frontier of life sciences and plays a crucial role in determining individual and population health. Over thousands of years of medical practice, practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) developed an understanding of the importance and activity of commensal microorganisms without access to modern technology. In this review, we examine the theoretical similarities between modern studies of the human microbiome and TCM, and propose feasible strategies to integrate the 2 fields. Advances in our understanding of the human microbiome will also help to modernize the practice of TCM, thereby providing a basis for bridging the gap between modern medicine and TCM.

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