With the growing appreciation for the influence of the intestinal microbiota on human health, there is increasing motivation to design and refine interventions to promote favorable shifts in the microbiota and their interactions with the host. This review outlines considerations to facilitate the design, implementation and interpretation of human gut microbiota intervention studies relating to foods based upon our current understanding of the intestinal microbiota, its functionality and interactions with the human host. Last, EU legislative aspects in relation to foods and health claims are presented. While it is appreciated that the field of gastrointestinal microbiology is rapidly evolving, such guidance will assist in the design and interpretation of human gut microbiota interventional studies relating to foods.
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