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Your gut’s what you eat, too

RATE THIS! +46
Posted in Medicine on 7th Jan, 2014 02:03 AM by AlexMuller

As the saying goes, you are what you eat. But new evidence suggests that the same may also be true for the microbes in your gut. A Harvard study shows that, in as little as a day, diet can alter the population of microbes in the gut, particularly those that tolerate bile, as well as the types of genes expressed by gut bacteria.

 
“What we are really excited about is we and others have shown in animal models that diet can rapidly have major effects on the microbes that are in the gut,” said Peter Turnbaugh, a Bauer Fellow at the Center for Systems Biology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He is senior author of the paper, which appeared in Dec. 11 edition of the journal Nature.
 
“But it still wasn’t clear how fast the microbes in the human gut respond to changes in diet, and to what degree those changes would be similar in different people. This study is really the first time we’ve seen that, over the course of days, a new diet can reshape the microbial community, and that those changes are consistent and reversible.”
 
As evidence mounts that the gut microbiome not only plays a role in digestion but may also affect overall health, Lawrence David, the paper’s first author and a former junior fellow at Harvard’s Society of Fellows who was recently appointed an assistant professor at Duke University, said the ability to manipulate those populations may offer new avenues for treating certain conditions.

Tags: gutbacteriafoodhealthmicrobesgenes

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-07
+3
There is a big effort to understand microorganisms in our gut, quite a lot resources were put into this as our bacteria outnumber our own cells. It is great to see some interesting data coming Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-07
+2
This is important, new new studies suggests a link between the bacteria living in the gut and diseases ranging from obesity to autism, at least in mice.
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-07
+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
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-07
+2
I think that the main hope from this is that we might somehow be able, through an altered diet or behavior, shape the microbiome to improve health
3 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-07
+0
This is all interesting but not at the stage to make recommendations about diet. There's still a long way to go before cause-consequence link is established Reply
Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-07
+0
It's a landmark study- it changes our view of how rapidly the microbiome can change. Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-07
+1
It should be no surprise that bacteria have such impact on humans, 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
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-01-07
+0
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


 

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