Diet Changes and Their Immediate Effects

Diet Changes and Their Immediate Effects

Mackenzie Thompson

by Mackenzie Thompson

Life Saver, AMC

posted on Mar 11, 2014, at 9:50 pm


IT HAS BEEN KNOWN FOR QUITE SOME TIME that different gut flora is produced by different foods we eat, but after recent research, microbiologists are astonished by the rapid responses to those changes. It was assumed that they would happen within days, weeks, months, or even years, but surprisingly, the dramatic shifts in bacterial populations occurred within hours.

In the study, volunteers were assigned two diets one based on animal products (meat, eggs, and cheese) and one based on vegetables. The outcome in the gut microbiome was seen almost immediately. One effect from the animal diet was that the number of microbes that break down carbohydrates from plants was cut down and and the number of organisms that help digest fats were increased.

These results, according to study co-author Lawrence David, seemed to be very beneficial to ancient human beings. As hunters and gatherers, their diet would vary diversely and rapidly due to the food accessible, and the microbiome’s ability to adapt was crucial for the best nutrient absorption.

Unfortunately, there could be disadvantageous effects too. For instance, the animal diet seemed to have an increase in Bilophila wadsworthia, a bacterium known to contribute in mice to colon inflammation.

Knowing that bacterial populations shift measurably in the first few days following a big shift in what we eat. “We’re anticipating that people will try to draw conclusions about which diet is better from this,” David explains. “And we want to address that it’s very difficult to come to any health-related judgment based on this study.”

To read the full article, go to Scientific American

About Mackenzie

Mackenzie is a lover of world travel, photography, design, style and Chinese cooking. She is passionate about working towards a purpose, recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Media and Marketing, and is currently residing in Manhattan.

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