Why the food pyramid is not the perfect diet guide: Although members of the same food group have different effects on gut bacteria, study on
- Scientists analyzed diets and pallet samples of 34 people over 17 days
- They found that similar foods, such as vegetables , had different effects
- Leaf vegetables like kale and spinach had a similar effect but were different as vegetables as carrots
- Researchers say food-based efforts to increase or suppress a type of bacterial species may need to be tailored individually
Spinach and carrots are both known with vitamin A, fiber and potassium but this does not mean that they have the same effect on our intestinal microbiomas, a new small study found .
We tend to think about food when it comes to the big categories of the food pyramid: fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy and so on.
However, researchers say how specific strains of intestinal microbes are affected by the foods we eat can actually vary significantly from fruit to fruit or vegetables to vegetables.
Leaf vegetables such as kale and spinach can promote a bacterial species, but carrots and celery can promote another – although they all fall under the same category in the food pyramid.
The team from the University of Minnesota says that the study shows that it is not enough to look at the nutrition labels and that future food-based interventions hoping to regulate intestinal bacteria may need to be tailored to the individual.
"Nutrition labels are written for humans", senior author Dr Dan Knights, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Minnesota , told DailyMail.com.
& # 39; And we do not have good ways to measure what is in type e of different foods, and microbes care exactly what the chemical composition is. & # 39;
For the study, published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, the team recruited 34 people, who recorded everything they ate for 17 days.
Researchers collected stool samples daily to see how the microbiomas changed from day to day. 19659010] They found that foods had similar effects on the intestinal microbiome when they were divided into subcategories rather than large categories such as production, meat, dairy and so on.
For example, green vegetables like kale and spinach all had similar effects on the microbiome.
But it was very different from the effects of vegetables such as carrots or fruit like tomatoes, even though they had similar nutrients such as calcium, fiber and vitamin C.
Intuitively, the researchers thought that two people on exactly the same diet would have the same intestinal micro-profiles .
So that they had two of the 34 subjects in the study, nothing but Soylent, a meal replacement drink, eats for the 17-day duration of the study.
Researchers found that even the microbiome of the substances varied from day to day, suggesting that a repeated diet may not stabilize intestinal bacteria.
"We expected that by doing this frequent sampling – where you could see what people ate every day and what happened to their microbiome – we could correlate diets with specific microbes," Dr Knights said in a press release. 19659010] "But what we found was not the strong associations we expected. We had to scratch our heads and come up with a new method for measuring and comparing different foods. "
The team says that the results show that when doctors prescribe diets to increase or suppress one type of bacterial species, they may need to tailor the meal plans to each individual they work with.
& # 39 The microbiome has been linked to a wide range of human conditions, including metabolic disorders, autoimmune diseases and infections, so there is strong motivation to manipulate the microbiome with diet as a way of affecting health, Dr. Knights says.
study suggests that it is more complicated than just looking at dietary components such as fiber and sugar.
"Much more research is needed before we can understand how the whole range of nutrients in food affects how the microbiome responds to what we eat." 19659032] Share or comment on this article: