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Extreme Diets Can Quickly Alter Gut Bacteria

RATE THIS! +43
Posted in Science on 13th Dec, 2013 02:41 AM by AlexMuller

With all the talk lately about how the bacteria in the gut affect health and disease, it's beginning to seem like they might be in charge of our bodies. But we can have our say, by what we eat. For the first time in humans, researchers have shown that a radical change in diet can quickly shift the microbial makeup in the gut and also alter what those bacteria are doing.

 

The study takes a first step toward pinpointing how these microbes, collectively called the gut microbiome, might be used to keep us healthy.

 
"It's a landmark study," says Rob Knight, a microbial ecologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who was not involved with the work. "It changes our view of how rapidly the microbiome can change."
 
Almost monthly, a new study suggests a link between the bacteria living in the gut and diseases ranging from obesity to autism, at least in mice. Researchers have had trouble, however, pinning down connections between health and these microbes in humans, in part because it’s difficult to make people change their diets for the weeks and months researchers thought it would take to alter the gut microbes and see an effect on health.
 
But in 2009, Peter Turnbaugh, a microbiologist at Harvard University, demonstrated in mice that a change in diet affected the microbiome in just a day. So he and Lawrence David, now a computational biologist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, decided to see if diet could have an immediate effect in humans as well.
 
They recruited 10 volunteers to eat only what the researchers provided for 5 days. Half ate only animal products—bacon and eggs for breakfast; spareribs and brisket for lunch; salami and a selection of cheeses for dinner, with pork rinds and string cheese as snacks. The other half consumed a high-fiber, plants-only diet with grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables. For the several days prior to and after the experiment, the volunteers recorded what they ate so the researchers could assess how food intake differed.

Tags: bacteriagutgut microbiomemicrobeshealthfoodstomachobesity

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-13
+3
Great result that can help adjust our life style for better health. It is surprising how quickly bacteria change and adapt in response to food and how this can influence our health
3 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-13
+1
This is a very important aspect of a very hot area of science. Perhaps by adjusting diet, one can shape the microbiome in a way that can promote health Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-13
+0
Another convincing evidence that bacteria hanging out in our intestine influence many aspects of our health, including weight, immunity and perhaps even behavior... Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-13
+0
This should be no surprise as, according to research published in 2012, the trillions of microorganisms that live in and on the body outnumber human cells by 10 to 1 Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-13
+2
Meat-rich diet has been criticised before. Now it seems that meat-rich diet has been linked to inflammation and intestinal diseases in mice and this could be due to change in bacteria. Take care
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-13
+2
it is interesting that not only type of bacteria changed but also the bacteria in the gut even started to change their behavior. Type of genes turned on in the microbes changed
3 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-13
+1
In any case, the interest in studying the links between diet and the human microbiome is growing. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-13
+0
I think that scientists are just beginning to explore the composition of these bacterial ecosystems in humans and how these organisms interact with our body can will reveal more about illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease and obesity. Reply
Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-13
+3
Some scientists even think the bacteria in our digestive systems may help mold brain structure as we're growing up, and possibly influence our moods, behavior and feelings when we're adults Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-13
+1
The fact that gut bacteria can help moderate the effects of a rapid change in diet, adapting quickly depending on the food consumed, may have been quite helpful for early humans and their evolutionary Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-12-13
+0
This study shows that short-term dietary interventions can change microbial composition and function- next step should be to to look at diet as a way of treating patients! Reply


 

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