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Eating Habits Linked to Loss of Healthy Gut Microbes in Industrial Societies

A recent study finds that humans are experiencing a decline in fiber-converting microbes crucial for digestive health.

In today's fast-paced and industrialized societies, our eating habits have drastically changed, leading to a concerning decline in the diversity of healthy gut microbes. Recent research suggests that as a result of eating less vegetables and fiber, humans are losing cellulose-degrading bacteria from the gut microbiome, which in turn has second-order consequences for our overall health and well-being.

Here's a summary of this article by Technology Networks:
  • Dietary fiber refers to cellulose that we get from eating vegetables and wholegrain products
  • Cellulose is generally difficult to digest for humans, but bacteria like Ruminococcus break it down into sugars, deriving energy for themselves and other bacterial strains that live in the gut
  • When we do not consume enough fiber, bacteria like Ruminococcus and other strains that rely on the nutrients produced starve and gradually disappear from our gut, leading to a shift away from a healthy gut balance
  • A recent study published in Science observes a wide-spread loss of Ruminococcus in the Western gut. To counteract the decline of these beneficial microbes, we need to increase fiber intake to support the growth and diversity of our gut microbiome.


    Image by Freepik

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