Several hundred microbial species inhabit the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract and constitute a complex ecological community that influences the host physiology and susceptibility to disease through their metabolism and interactions with the human host. The composition of the gut microbiota varies among individuals and throughout their life, within individuals. Multiple intrinsic and extrinsic factors influence the composition of gastrointestinal (GI)-tract microbiota; those identified include host genetics and physiology, diseases, drugs, and diets.
Asia differs substantially among and within its regions populated by diverse ethnic groups, which maintain their own respective cultures and dietary habits. On the other hand, Oriental and Western cultures are now merging at many sites in Asia and affecting our life style, especially daily diets. To inquire into diversity in gut microbiota of Asian people, which must respond to daily diets and link to host health, Asian Microbiome Project (AMP) was established in 2009. AMP aims to build a basal microbiome database of Asians covering the entire region and all age groups and gain an insight into the link between life style and gut microbiota. By sharing information and knowledge gained through this project, we hope to promote health of Asian people.