People on low-fiber diets may be passing down a bacteria deficiency to their grandchildren
11/25/2019 / By Skye Anderson / Comments
People on low-fiber diets may be passing down a bacteria deficiency to their grandchildren

The way humans nourish themselves is a pretty straightforward process: They eat food, digest food then eliminate waste. And because this all happens inside the body, you’re probably thinking that the consequences of your diet can only be felt by you. But a recent study by researchers from Stanford University, Harvard University and Princeton University revealed that your diet affects more than just your body. In fact, some of the repercussions of a poor diet can be passed down the line to future generations.

According to the researchers, the gut microbiota of people on a Western diet is less diverse than the microbiota of populations who follow traditional diets. Traditional diets mainly consist of whole foods and fermented foods, while the Western diet includes mostly processed foods. Traditional foods also contain plenty of fiber, the source of microbiota accessible carbohydrates (MACs). These MACs are strikingly reduced in the Western diet.

100% organic essential oil sets now available for your home and personal care, including Rosemary, Oregano, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Clary Sage and more, all 100% organic and laboratory tested for safety. A multitude of uses, from stress reduction to topical first aid. See the complete listing here, and help support this news site.

Using mice harboring a human microbiota, the researchers confirmed that a low-MAC diet triggers negative changes in gut microbiota. Mice who were put on this diet not only had reduced populations of beneficial bacteria, they also suffered a progressive loss of gut microbial diversity. The researchers also found that this reduction in bacterial populations is inefficiently transferred to the next generation and puts these microbes at risk of extinction in the gut.

Restoring these microbial populations proved to be a difficult task. The researchers reported that within a single generation, gut microbiota changes are largely reversible. However, reintroducing dietary MACs is not enough to recover loss of diversity. Rather, the missing bacterial populations need to be administered with dietary MAC consumption to fully restore the gut microbiota to its original state.

If these aren’t enough reasons to maintain high fiber intake, then just think of the future generations. The study highlighted the fact that beneficial bacteria lost by predecessors remained missing in their descendants. After each generation, the gut microbiota became less diverse. By the fourth generation, only a quarter of the bacterial species originally present in the first-generation mice were left.

The importance of gut bacteria

The bacteria that reside in a person’s gut are usually beneficial in nature. These bacteria are introduced to a person from the moment that they are born. As a person ages, their gut microbiome also continues to grow and diversify. In order to grow, these bacteria utilize fiber in the diet – which cannot be digested by human enzymes – as their main food source.

Gut bacteria have many health benefits that are not just limited to digestion. They can also give the immune system a boost by communicating with cells of the immune system to control its response to infections.

Helpful bacteria, such as Lactobacillus, can also promote the good type of cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), leading to improved heart health. However, with the wrong type of food, gut bacteria may also produce a substance harmful to the heart. A study showed that when bacteria feed on eggs and beef, they produce trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), which has been linked to heart attack and stroke.

Even the brain is affected by gut microbiome. Healthy bacterial populations in the gut help produce neurotransmitters, which are chemicals used by the cells to communicate with each other. In addition, communication between nerves in the gut and the brain can also be affected by bacteria in the gut.

Gut bacteria have also been shown to affect a person’s weight. One study showed that gut bacterial diversity is lower for obese people than lean people. Moreover, the study showed that transplanting gut bacteria from an obese person to mice leads to alterations in the metabolism of the mice, which made them gain weight and fat mass.

Fiber-rich foods

As previously mentioned, gut bacteria use fiber as their food source. In order to keep these bacteria happy and the body healthy, here are some fiber-rich foods that can be included in your diet:

  • Pears
  • Avocados
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Oats
  • Almonds
  • Dark chocolate
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Lentils
  • Beets
  • Legumes

Sources:

NaturalHealth365.com

NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov

Healthline.com 1

Healthline.com 2

VeryWellMind.com

LiveScience.com

100% Fresh Food News, Right at Your Fingertips!
Find out everything you need to know about clean and healthy eating when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter. Receive the latest news on all the top superfoods, recipes, natural remedies, diets, food tips, and more!
Your privacy is protected. Subscription confirmation required.

Related Articles
Comments
comments powered by Disqus

100% Fresh Food News, Right at Your Fingertips!
Find out everything you need to know about clean and healthy eating when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter. Receive the latest news on all the top superfoods, recipes, natural remedies, diets, food tips, and more!
Your privacy is protected. Subscription confirmation required.

Popular articles