GUT MICROBES: They are what you eat
February 10, 2021 • 1 min read
-- Microbiomes are shaped by what we eat
Just as a diet rich in nutrient-dense, whole foods grows gut microbes that support good health, a diet full of highly processed foods has the opposite effect, promoting gut microbes linked to poor cardiovascular and metabolic health.
New research shows for the first time the link between the quality of food we eat and the quality of our microbiomes – and, ultimately, our overall health.
What’s more, researchers found that the food people ate had a more powerful impact on the makeup of their microbiomes than their genes.
The findings stem from an international study of personalised nutrition called Predict – the world’s largest research project designed to look at individual responses to food.
Researchers now believe genetics play only a minor role in shaping a person’s microbiome.
Identical twins were found to share just 34% of the same gut microbes, while people who were unrelated shared about 30% of the same microbes.
The composition of each person’s microbiome appeared instead to be driven more by what they ate, and the types of microbes in their guts played a strong role in their metabolic health.
One common denominator among heavily processed foods is that they tend to contain little fibre, a macronutrient that helps to nourish good microbes in the gut.
Eat your greens