The gut microbiome has been studied by many researchers, but not enough data has been collected to establish a relationship between diet and gut microbiome. An interdisciplinary team of gut microbiome researchers published a paper in Nature Medicine, recently, linking diet to the gut microbiome.
I hear that researchers from King's College London, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the University of Trento in Italy, and a health science start-up company ZOE Global are involved in an exciting study related to the relationship between a person's health and the good microbes in their guts.
The researchers of this team, have sequenced the gut microbiomes of the participants and have requested detailed long-term diet and blood sample information from them. They observed that microbes were associated with (very exciting for me) nutrients and types of foods! According to the authors,
1. Food quality (unprocessed vs. highly processed),
2. Food source (plant vs. animal) and
3. Food type (healthy vs. unhealthy)
were important for overall health and microbiome ecology.
Important findings came out:
1. The study results show that dietary diversity shapes the composition of the gut microbiome.
2. They also discovered that there may be microbial indicators of obesity in each individual.
3. In addition, they were able to identify biomarkers of cardiovascular disease risk in the blood.
Based on the study's results, we may be able to affect what microbes can survive in our guts based on our diet! An epidemiologist from King's College London, Tim Spector corroborated on something many of us know though there is not much evidence still... that when you eat, you're feeding an enormous number of microbes inside your gut.
The startup ZOE, which is involved in this study, wishes to study to see if they can help people identify the microbes that live in their gut. This could further pave the way to identifying which food will suit a person best for best health. What an innovation!
According to The New York Times, the next step for the study is to start clinical trials to test whether changing a person's diet can change the makeup of their gut microbiome, hopefully increasing the good microbes rather than the bad ones.
We at Sampoorna Ahara and Nutrition Science cannot wait to see what ZOE, along with the great academicians at work on this project, might come up with!
We know for sure that good microbes grow well in our guts when we eat whole food plant-based meals.
In fact, I advise my patients to mindfully chew all solids except cereals, to liquid.
Cereals alone I prefer if they could swallow without mashing in their mouths, too much.
This way the cereal will provide good fodder for the friendly microbes inside their guts. That in turn will keep their health and weight in perfect order.
While I know this for a fact, I would love to see this as an evidence based process of checking the way ZOE is headed.
I wish them well.
What is your experience of eating Whole Food Plant Based Diet? Comment below.
Be Blessed by the Divine,
Dr. Achyuthan Eswar.