Reference Number: 236
This is an open-source review so you can click on the link above and read this study.
Recent studies have suggested that the intestinal microbiome plays an important role in modulating the risk of several chronic diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. At the same time, it is now understood that diet plays a significant role in shaping the microbiome, with experiments showing that dietary alterations can induce large, temporary microbial shifts within 24 h. Given this association, there may be significant therapeutic utility in altering microbial composition through diet. This review systematically evaluates current data regarding the effects of several common dietary components on intestinal microbiota. We show that consumption of particular types of food produces predictable shifts in existing host bacterial genera. Furthermore, the identity of these bacteria affects host immune and metabolic parameters, with broad implications for human health. Familiarity with these associations will be of tremendous use to the practitioner as well as the patient.
236 – Influence of diet on the gut microbiome and implications for human health
SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS STUDY
I particularly liked this paper because it is a systematic review of current literature about how diet alterations can modify the bacteria present in the human gut microbiome and the potential effects of those changes for human health. It is about an overall picture.
What is particularly interesting in the way that it analysed all the noteworthy scientific work done around diet, disease and microbiome from 1970 to 2015.
Microorganisms in our gut microbiome are strongly connected to our wellbeing and are involved in multiple processes that are vital to our health. They produce nutrients, metabolites and short-chain fatty acids and they seem to be intimately involved with the host’s immune system and inflammation levels. So, it is not surprising that there are studies suggesting that changes in diet can cause significant shifts in gut microbial composition in as little as 24h after the changes are implemented and that these changes can remain for up to 48h.
Each group of nutrients seem to have a different impact on the bacterial group populations and, consequently, different metabolic implications.
Diets such as the Mediterranean, rich in plant-based foods, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, polyphenols and other antioxidants, fibre and slow-release carbohydrates and low in animal protein seem to favour the overall most beneficial changes in the human gut microbiome. These changes appear to be linked with a reduction in inflammation levels, reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer and obesity prevention.
There was an interesting note about a study that found no benefit of a gluten-free diet in healthy individuals with a severe increase in bacterial families that have the potential of being pathogenic.
This is enlightening work and presents great hope and potential for a future where diet modulation through personalized nutrition can be an incredible resource, not only to prevent but also for the treatment of a multitude of conditions with only a change of dietary habits.
With this in mind, sourdough baking, incorporating the diversity of wholemeal flours, nuts and seeds seems to meet all the principles of a healthy gut microbial friendly food that is also delicious..