It is well established — and perhaps unsurprising — that what we eat affects the microbes that live in our intestine, collectively known as the gut microbiota. According to two new studies, however, exercise has the same effect. In mouse and human experiments, researchers found that physical activity — independent of diet — alters the composition of gut microbiota in a way that increases the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that are beneficial for health. According to Jeffrey Woods — a professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the co-lead investigator of both studies — their research is the first to show that the diversity of gut bacteria can be modified through exercise alone. The first study, which investigated the effects of exercise on the gut microbiota of mice, was published in the journal Gut Microbes. This study included three groups of mice: one group of mice was … [Read more...] about Exercise alone alters our gut microbiota
A new study published in the journal Scientific Reports finds that people who eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids have more bacterial diversity in the gut, which promotes better overall health. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, which means that although we need them to stay healthy, the human body cannot produce them on its own - so we have to get them from food. The benefits of a diet rich in omega-3s are well known. The fatty acids seem to lower the "bad" kind of cholesterol, lower high blood pressure, and improve overall cardiovascular health. Some studies have also suggested that omega-3 can reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and improve bone strength, as well as protect against age-related cognitive decline and dementia. And now, researchers from the University of Nottingham's School of Medicine, in collaboration with scientists from King's College London - both in the United Kingdom - add to the long list of omega-3's benefits. The new … [Read more...] about Omega-3 may keep gut microbiota diverse and healthy
By analyzing more than 1,000 human stool samples, researchers from Belgium have uncovered a number of diet and lifestyle factors that influence the composition of gut microbiota, with intake of beer and chocolate among those identified. Study leader Prof. Jeroen Raes, of the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium, and his team say their findings may better inform future studies investigating how the gut microbiome - the population of microbes that live in the intestine - affects human disease. The results - recently published in the journal Science - come from the Flemish Gut Flora Project, which the team says is one of the largest population-wide studies to assess the variation of gut microbiota among healthy individuals. The gut microbiome consists of tens of trillions of microorganisms, including at least 1,000 bacterial species, and can weigh up to 2 kg. While around one third of gut microbiota is common to the majority of people, around two thirds are specific to each … [Read more...] about Beer, chocolate intake among factors that influence the gut microbiome
The human body is host to around 100 trillion microbes - we have more of these microorganisms than we have our own human cells, which are outnumbered by about 10 to 1. Scientific advances in genetics over recent years mean that we know a lot more about the microbes that live in and on us in their trillions. Many countries have invested a lot into research toward understanding the interactions within the human body's ecosystem and their relevance to health and disease. The two terms microbiota and microbiome are often used to mean the same thing - you will often see them used interchangeably. There is a subtle difference between the meanings, however, and so this article will distinguish between the two. The human microbiota comprises the populations of microbial species that live on or in the human body - the commensal bacteria, viruses and funguses (and other single-celled animals such as archaea and protists) that call our bodies home. Each of us harbors anywhere between … [Read more...] about What is the gut microbiota? What is the human microbiome?
Anorexia nervosa is a serious eating disorder, affecting over 3 million Americans. New research published in Psychosomatic Medicine suggests that people with this debilitating disease may have very different gut microbial communities than those found in healthy individuals. Moreover, researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine speculate that this bacterial imbalance could be linked to some of the psychological symptoms related to the disorder, which has the highest mortality rate of any mental health issue. The research, led by Ian Carroll, PhD, senior author of the paper and assistant professor of medicine in the UNC Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease, suggests that gut bacteria, the trillions of bacteria that affect digestive health and immunity, could play a prominent role in the symptoms of anorexia nervosa. It is known that microbial diversity is a sign of better overall health. Previous studies have also suggested that the abundance … [Read more...] about Gut microbiota has implications for anorexia
We can carry up to 2 kg of microbes in our gut. Within the tens of trillions of micro-organisms that live there are at least 1,000 species of bacteria consisting of over 3 million genes. What is more, two thirds of the gut microbiome - the population of microbes in the intestine - is unique to each individual. But do you know how your gut microbiota could be influencing your health? Most of us are aware that the bacteria in our gut play an important role in digestion. When the stomach and small intestine are unable to digest certain foods we eat, gut microbes jump in to offer a helping hand, ensuring we get the nutrients we need. In addition, gut bacteria are known to aid the production of certain vitamins - such as vitamins B and K - and play a major role in immune function. But increasingly, researchers are working to find out more about how gut bacteria - particularly the bacteria that is unique to us individually - influence our health and risk of disease. Perhaps most … [Read more...] about The gut microbiome: How does it affect our health?
Exercise is held up as one of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle. It burns calories, it is good for your heart and it can make you happier. Its benefits do not end there, though; new research has found that exercise also boosts the diversity of bacteria found in the gut, which can have positive long-term health implications. The gastrointestinal (GI) tract - the stomach and intestines - is home to a complex community of bacteria referred to as the gut microbiota. The gut microbiota contributes to the metabolism and the development of the immune system, and previous research has linked changes in its composition with conditions such as diabetes, GI diseases and obesity. Reduced variation in microbiota has been associated with these health problems, while increased diversity has been linked to a favorable metabolic profile and immune system response. Diet has already been found to be key in influencing the gut microbiota. Other areas of modern lifestyle have also … [Read more...] about Gut bacteria diversity improves with exercise, study shows
At least you’re not eating junk food every day, right? The thing is that type of yo-yo eating from week to weekend can be just as bad for your gut as a regular junk food diet, according to a new study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. The study findings found that erratic junk food eating three day per week can sufficiently change the gut microbiota similar to that of obese rats that eat the junk food diet daily. For the study, researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) examined the impact yo-yo dieting had on the gut microbiota of rats. It is the first research study to compare either irregular or continuous unhealthy eating that can influence the structure of the gut microbiota. The research combined UNSW’s School of Medical Sciences with UNSW’s Schools of Psychology and Biological Sciences. The gut microbiota is the name given to the intestinal microbe population. The human gut microbe is thought to contain tens of … [Read more...] about Weekend Junk Food Binging Not so Good for Your Gut, Says Study
The development of antibiotics for treating bacterial infections has indeed lengthened human lifespan. However, excessive and inappropriate use of these useful drugs may cause serious long-term consequences, which not only affect our individual health but may even cause permanent changes particularly to the gut microbiota of our descendants for generations. Maintaining a proper balance of healthy gut microbiota is crucial as it plays an essential role in metabolism, detoxification, nutrition, development, pathogen resistance, and regulation of immune responses. Microbiota has been used by scientists to replace the term microflora, which refers to symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms comprise bacteria, fungi, and archaea. They colonize human body including on the surface of the skin, in the saliva and mucosa, the vagina, and in the gastrointestinal tract. Disharmony Studies have shown that antibiotics may be associated with disharmony or … [Read more...] about Impact of Antibiotics on The Gut Microbiota and Its Detrimental Effects on Health
Many Americans are affected by poor diet choices, chronic stress, and toxic overload. These factors have increased the prevalence of leaky gut! Many Americans now suffer from food sensitivities, inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune disease and thyroid problems. (1) A primal connection exists between the gut and brain, resulting in the gut being called “the second brain.” We have “gut feelings” but the connection between the mind and gut is not just metaphorical. The brain and gut is connected through neurons and chemicals, and hormones constantly provide feedback that tell us how hungry we are, whether we are experiencing stress or if we have ingested a disease causing microbe.(2) Ninety percent of our cells are microbial cells meaning that our diet influences our microbes. The good news is that it is possible to cultivate a new microbiota in 24 hours by changing our diet. Bacteria lives in our intestinal tracts and flourish off of plant-based foods.(3) A … [Read more...] about Sauerkraut: one of the best foods to supercharge your gut