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Diet, Lifestyle and the Gut Microbiome

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This collection provides resources on the behaviors that relate to gut health, including diet and exercise.

What should you eat to support a healthy microbiome? That question has different answers depending upon whether your microbiome is healthy or not.

When reading the resources in this section, consider whether they addressing concerns for those who have digestive problems (e.g. those with fructose malabsorption or SIBO).

Many of the resources discuss fiber and prebiotic fiber. I have included two fiber series that cover the topic in a broad sense. There are also resources that discuss specific fiber types.

Remember that you are feeding a diverse ecosystem. Rather than loading up on a specific type of fiber, choose a diet that offers an ample variety.

Exercise

Sleep and Circadian Rhythm. Effects of Stress. Special Diets for Gut Repair. Prebiotics and Fibre. Dairy. Sweeteners and Artificial Sweeteners. Smoking and Alcohol. Meat and Fat. 16 Things That Affect Your Gut Bacteria. A couple months ago, we explored many of the ways our gut bacteria affect us, focusing on the lesser known effects like anti-nutrient nullification, vitamin manufacture, and neurotransmitter production.

16 Things That Affect Your Gut Bacteria

Today, we’re going to discuss all of the ways (that we know) we can affect our gut bacteria. It turns out that the food we eat, the amount of sun we get, whether we eat organic or not, the supplements we take, and even the kind of nuts or chocolate we decide to eat – just to name a few factors - can change the composition and function of our gut microbiota for the good or for the bad. We may still have a lot to learn about this gut stuff, but the bulk of the evidence says that we do have the power (and responsibility if you care to be healthy) to affect the health of our gut microbiota. How Lifestyle Influences Our Gut Health: Digestion and the Microbiome. This article will examine the incredibly important impact lifestyle has on our gut health.

How Lifestyle Influences Our Gut Health: Digestion and the Microbiome

Many people mistakenly believe our digestive health depends solely on diet and things like fermented food. How to Safely Expose Your Kids to Dirt. If you’ve been reading this blog for any reasonable stretch of time, you know that I’m a big proponent of getting dirty.

How to Safely Expose Your Kids to Dirt

By overvaluing sterility and fearing dirt – in our homes, our guts, even our hospitals – we’ve impaired our immune systems, our gut and digestive health, and even our mental health. The world is a dirty place, and we need to accept that. We need to embrace it, within reason, especially if we’re wards of tiny still-developing humans for whom exposure to dirt has important and resounding benefits.

You’ve got the benefits to current and future immune function that I’ve gone over in the past. Health Problems with Antibacterial Soap. What microbes are in the food we eat? — The American Microbiome Institute. There is a common saying “You are what you eat.”

What microbes are in the food we eat? — The American Microbiome Institute

But is this actually true? Eating more vegetables appears to improve microbiome-mediated health indicators — The American Microbiome Institute. There are many diets that have been rigorously shown to decrease metabolic syndrome (obesity, diabetes, etc.) and are generally associated with a healthy lifestyle, such as vegetarian, vegan, and Mediterranean diets.

Eating more vegetables appears to improve microbiome-mediated health indicators — The American Microbiome Institute

The one thing they share in common is a high consumption of plant material, and a low consumption of meat. There are mechanistic reasons for why high veggie - low fat diets should improve health, and many researchers now believe this is partly due to the gut microbiome that these diets create. In order to help demonstrate the microbiome-mediated health benefits of a high vegetable – low meat diet, a team of researchers from Italy recently measured the microbiome and specific metabolites produced by the microbiome in 153 individuals.

They then compared these results with the diet that the individual had consumed prior to the measurements, and confirmed that these ‘healthy’ diets were creating ‘healthy’ microbiomes. They published their results in the journal Gut. 8 surprising good-for-your-gut superfoods you should be eating. Ingesting blueberries and oats may modulate the microbiome and help diabetics — The American Microbiome Institute. Prebiotics are foods that are consumed in order to modulate the microbiome.

Ingesting blueberries and oats may modulate the microbiome and help diabetics — The American Microbiome Institute

They are normally composed of molecules that are not broken down by our body itself, but rather that remain intact until making it to the large intestine where bacteria can break them down. Common prebiotics come from plant materials, like long chained complex carbohydrates, as well as polyphenols, like blueberry extract. In a recent study, scientists from Louisiana State University performed randomized dietary intervention on obese subjects and gave them a mixture of these molecules. They then monitored the changes in the microbiome that occurred, along with changes in health indicators. Americans swap foods with Africans and their microbiomes follow – fiber, fat and cancer risk — The American Microbiome Institute. Despite having similar genetic backgrounds, African Americans are thirteen times more likely to develop colon cancer than rural South Africans.

Americans swap foods with Africans and their microbiomes follow – fiber, fat and cancer risk — The American Microbiome Institute

Indeed, environmental factors, rather than genetics, are thought to be the major factor in developing colon cancer, because recent immigrants’ children’s risk is more similar to where they are living than to their parents’ homeland. This environmental risk could be primarily caused by a number of factors, such as antibiotic use or drug use, but many scientists believe that diet, and its influence on the microbiome, is primarily responsible. Lifestyle has a strong impact on intestinal bacteria, which has a strong impact on health. Everything you eat or drink affects your intestinal bacteria, and is likely to have an impact on your health.

Lifestyle has a strong impact on intestinal bacteria, which has a strong impact on health

That is the finding of a large-scale study led by RUG/UMCG geneticist Cisca Wijmenga into the effect of food and medicine on the bacterial diversity in the human gut, which is published this Friday in the research journal Science. In this study researchers collected stool samples from more than 1100 people taking part in the LifeLines programme, which is monitoring the health of 165,000 residents of the Northern Netherlands. The samples were used to analyze the DNA of the bacteria and other organisms that live in the gut. In addition to stools, the study collected information on the participants' diet, medicine-use and health. This study is unique in that it focused on a group of normal people whereas previous research was frequently focused on patients with a specific illness. The Health Benefits of Fermented Foods - The Paleo Mom. Most of us are familiar with at least a handful of fermented foods (like sauerkraut or yogurt); but the history, variety, and benefits of fermentation are much more extensive than many people realize.

The Health Benefits of Fermented Foods - The Paleo Mom

In fact, over 5,000 types of fermented foods have been documented across the globe, and include nearly every edible thing you can think of—meats, fish, cereal products, legumes, vegetables, fruits, beverages, nuts, and seeds. Especially before refrigeration was widespread, fermentation was ridiculously useful for preserving food and extending the shelf life of perishable items. That’s why for thousands of years, populations around the world have used fermentation in their traditional cuisines. But, just because we have refrigerators now doesn’t mean fermentation isn’t still a valuable practice! In fact, fermented foods offer some amazing benefits that can’t be obtained from other nutrient-dense foods. How Sauerkraut Is Leading A Food Revolution. One of the more recently established buzzwords within food and nutrition has been probiotics – and the idea that you can help to “rebalance” your gut bacteria by adding a bit of good bacteria every day through the use of cultured consumer products.

How Sauerkraut Is Leading A Food Revolution

This has led to many people embracing a more “cultured” lifestyle by making sure that they have their daily dose of probiotic yogurt drink or supplement. But now, new research questions whether shop bought probiotics actually make any difference to our gut health at all. A review of previous research on the topic, conducted by researchers at the University of Copenhagen, found no evidence that probiotics improve the balance of gut bacteria in healthy adults. While further clinical research is required to dig deeper into these findings, the results certainly contribute to the broader lingering concern that products marketed as healthy may not be so good for your health (or your pocket) after all.

Does eating fermented foods help you lose weight? — The American Microbiome Institute. Kimchi is a Korean food that traditionally consists of fermented cabbage and spices. It is a staple in the South Korean diet, and is one of the most frequently consumed fermented foods. The presence of bacteria in the kimchi has led many to speculate that it can exert a positive influence on the microbiome, and kimchi is believed to have anti-obesity effects. In order to test this hypothesis researchers from South Korea conducted a clinical trial in which they put obese women on a kimchi diet. The women were split into two groups, one of which consumed fermented kimchi, while the other consumed non-fermented kimchi.

Five Ways To Make Sure You Will Not Go Wrong Fermenting Your Vegetables — FermentWorks. All you have to remember is to salt and submerge. We like to tell people, “Sinking in brine conquers evil every time. 1. Keep your ferment comfortable. If the temperature is too cold the bacteria cannot eat and multiply fast enough to acidify your vegetables properly. You Are What Your Bacteria Eat: The Importance of Feeding Your Microbiome - With Jeff Leach. Cooling Inflammation: Healthy Gut Microbiota Means: No Supplements, No Cleanses, No Drugs, No Processed Foods. A healthy, functional gut microbiota (bacteria and fungi) supplies all of the vitamins needed, stimulates the development of a balanced immune system and promotes vitality. If you feed and maintain the diversity of the pounds of bacteria in your gut, you will be healthy.

If you listen to the medical and food industries, you will be sick, i.e. a good patient/consumer. New Studies on the Gut, Microbiome and Dietary Fiber: 25% Reduced Glucose Response to White Bread, Fiber for the Health of Our Youngest & Oldest. Initially, I wanted to add the word "all" into the headline of today's article, but that would have promised a bit more than today's article will deliver.

It's not "all" as in "all the articles I haven't discussed, yet", but rather "all" as in all the articles from the albeit very recommendable peer-reviewed scientific journal Nutrients. I promise, though: Even this version of "all" is going to have at least one "gem"that will awake SuppVersity reader's interest. Video: What’s Your Gut Microbiome Enterotype? Video: How to Change Your Enterotype. Host lifestyle affects human microbiota on daily timescales. Evidence for long-term, overall community stability We initially confirmed the general hypothesis that gut and saliva microbiota are usually stable [6, 8, 9, 18].

First, differences between individuals were much larger than variation within individuals over the course of 1 year (Figure 1A). Second, dynamics within individuals were subdivided into five periods of high overall similarity (Figure 2A-C, regions marked I-V). Going Feral: my one-year journey to acquire the healthiest gut microbiome in the world (you heard me!) Unless you’ve been holed up in a cabin in the Siberian outback, it’s been hard to miss the avalanche of research and associated press coverage ballyhooing the connection between microbes and human health and disease in 2013 – and 2014 will be no different, as fecal transplants become the new black!

Name just about any ailment plaguing humanity and you will find some researcher, somewhere, working the microbial angle for a causal or correlative connection. Paleo versus Vegetarian - who eats more fiber? I often hear Paleo and Primal eaters say their shopping carts almost always look like that of a vegetarian grazing through the same super market when it comes to the non-grain veggies it contains.

This comment – in my experience – often follows when addressing critics who say that a Paleo/Primal diet focused on fat and protein from animal products means whole, non-grain plants and their health-giving fiber, will be greatly reduced. RHR: Are Vegetarian Diets Better for the Microbiome? Carbohydrates: Why quality trumps quantity. High-level adherence to a Mediterranean diet beneficially impacts the gut microbiota and associated metabolome.

What If Americans Ate Like South Africans And Vice Versa? : Goats and Soda. Can We Eat Our Way To A Healthier Microbiome? It's Complicated. While no one's sure which foods are good for our microbiomes, eating more veggies can't hurt. iStockphoto.com hide caption toggle caption. Comparative metabolomics in vegans and omnivores reveal constraints on diet-dependent gut microbiota metabolite production. Introduction. Your gut bacteria don't like junk food – even if you do. What's Wrong With The Modern Diet [CHARTS] The modern diet is the main reason why people all over the world are fatter and sicker than ever before. Everywhere modern processed foods go, chronic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease soon follow. The studies are clear on this… when people abandon their traditional foods in favor of modern processed foods high in sugar, refined flour and vegetable oils, they get sick (1, 2, 3).

How Malnutrition Affects the Microbiome. WIKIMEDIA, JULIE6301The gut microbiomes of young children don’t fully recover from the trauma of early-life malnourishment, even after they are treated with more-complete diets, according to a study published today (June 4) in Nature. A team led by Jeffrey Gordon of the Washington University in St. 7 Things Everyone Should Know About Low-Carb Diets. The effects of fasting and starvation on the microbiome — The American Microbiome Institute.

Researchers at St. Gut Microbes Need Fiber, Too. Low Carb Diets and the Gut. A fibre-deprived diet may degrade the colonic mucus barrier and promote enteric pathogen infection in mice - Gut Microbiota for Health. Our microbiome has a taste for beer — The American Microbiome Institute. Interactions of gut microbiota with functional food components and nutraceuticals. Gut Microbes Gobble Cocoa. The Latest Gut Microbiome Modulators: Beneficial Effects of Cacao, Negative Effects of Acidic Water and Preliminary Evidence of the Negative Impact of Gluten & Whole Grains - SuppVersity: Nutrition and Exercise Science for Everyone.

Pigs Would Pick MSG - Glutamate Seals the Gut, Decreases Liver & Muscle Fat & Increases Plasma Amino Acids in Swine - SuppVersity: Nutrition and Exercise Science for Everyone. Use Glutamine to Heal the Gut and Hinder Your Gut Bacteria from Eating Away Your BCAA, Arginine and Other Aminos - SuppVersity: Nutrition and Exercise Science for Everyone. Oleic Acid Modulates Gut Bacteria and Induces Weight Loss on HFD Diet. Wondertoothpaste w/ 32 Herbals Promises Cancer Protection. 2% Cholesterol Diet Bad For the Testes. - SuppVersity: Nutrition and Exercise Science for Everyone. 1st Study to Show Natural Beats Synthetic Taurine - SuppVersity: Nutrition and Exercise Science for Everyone. Salt: Why Everyone Says You Are Getting Too Much, Why They Are Wrong, and How a Lack of It Can Greatly Impact Your Health.

Letter: gut microbiota modulation contributes to coffee's benefits for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease - Shen - 2014 - Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. Chronic coffee consumption in the diet-induced obese rat: impact on gut microbiota and serum metabolomics. Red wine and coffee modulate the microbiome — The American Microbiome Institute. Impact of polyphenols from black tea and red wine/grape juice on a gut model microbiome. Are all lectins bad? (and what are lectins, anyway?) - The Paleo Mom. Dietary emulsifiers impact the mouse gut microbiota promoting colitis and metabolic syndrome. What is Gluten? What Are The Issues With Consuming Wheat? Whole Health Source: Grains as Food: an Update. Can Chlorella / Spirulina Increase Inflammation or Cause Gut Issues?