Study explores the beneficial effects of healthy dietary patterns on gut microbiome

Nutrition and healthy dietary patterns have always been correlated with a lower risk of cardiometabolic disorders in past studies. But now, new research shows the importance of dietary patterns in maintaining a healthy gut microbiome.

The new study published in Nutrition Reviews examined more than 80 medical articles from Google Scholar and PubMed initiated in mid-2018. Among the data included English-based articles of healthy adult participants.

Researchers from George Washington University were tasked with screening all 80+ articles for duplicates and relevance to their study on gut microbiome. Their primary aim, according to co-authors, was to assess “the understanding of the interactions between nutrition and the gut microbiome in healthy adults.”

“Research has focused on dietary fiber – microbiota fuel. The benefits of fiber center on short-chain fatty acids, which are required by colonocytes, improve absorption, and reduce intestinal transit time. Contrastingly, protein promotes microbial protein metabolism and potentially harmful by-products that can stagnate in the gut,” researchers noted.

The microbiota, pivotal for inhibiting the risk of diseases, utilize and produce micronutrients derived from certain food consumption.

In the findings, however, researchers noted that measurement tools currently in use are “ineffective for identifying the microbial and molecular signatures that can serve as robust indicators of health and disease.”

But in their study, researchers concluded that nutrition induces beneficiary effects on microbial composition, which could bring changes to metabolic and neurological processes.

“As we learn more about the gut microbiome and nutrition, we are learning how influential they are to each other and, perhaps more central to public health, the role they both play in prevention and treatment of disease,” said Leigh Frame, one of the study’s three co-authors.

“There is no consensus on what defines a “healthy” gut microbiome. Future research must consider individual responses to diet.”

Image courtesy of Arttic Sars
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