New study explores nutrition effects on gut microbiome
Nutrition and diet have a profound impact on microbial composition in the gut, in turn affecting a range of metabolic, hormonal, and neurological processes, according to a new literature review study published in the journal Nutrition Reviews.
In the allopathic medical community, until recently, the human microbiome remained an understudied target for novel strategies to diagnose and treat disease. The prevalence of diseases that may involve disruption of the gut microbiome are increasing and there is currently no consensus in the scientific community on what defines a healthy gut microbiome, the researchers from George Washington University in Washington D.C. said.
The review systematically assessed the current understanding of the interactions between nutrition and the gut microbiome in healthy adults. Through their review, the authors found that the bi-directional relationship between nutrition and the gut microbiome is emerging as more research is conducted on how microbiota utilize and produce both macro and micronutrients. The authors found that research has mostly focused on the benefits of dietary fiber, which serves as fuel for gut microbiota, and also found that, in contrast, protein promotes microbial protein metabolism and potentially harmful byproducts that may sit in the gut, increasing the risk of negative health outcomes.
The authors suggest that future research must consider individual responses to diet and how the gut microbiome responds to dietary interventions, as well as emphasized function of the microbiome over merely composition.