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The Power of Two

Food Choices Matter

Published March 6, 2014 11:33 AM by Eleanor Wolfram

We all know that drastic changes in eating habits change the external makeup of our bodies. But current research shows altercations in what we consume can also change the internal microbial makeup of the human gastro intestinal tract. In addition, the behavior of already present bacteria is altered as well.

Harvard microbiologist Peter Turnbaugh and his colleagues are providing research support that diet changes affect the microbiome ability of the intestines. A 5-day clinical study consisting of 10 volunteers showed the difference between diets consisting of only animal products compared to those which contained only a high-fiber, plant-only diet. Results published in the December magazine of Nature showed that the types of bacteria present remained largely unchanged, however the abundances and amounts varied swiftly in response to the type of dietary consumption.

It seems meat-eaters higher levels of bile-resistant bacteria and that there is physiological call for an increase expression of genes involved in breaking down proteins for digestion. Persons who are basically vegetative plant-eaters, seem to have fewer bile-resisting bacteria and higher gene expression levels associated with carbohydrate digestion. But what is notable is that when diet content is altered, a person's physiology changes swiftly to accommodate the meal type shift.

Scientists suggests the ability for the intestines to quickly react to changes is no doubt evolutionary based in that diet alterations may have provided our ancestors with increased meat to vegetable back to meat dietary flexibility. In other words, our guts are an evolutionary marvel.

I wonder what would Darwin say to this?

posted by Eleanor Wolfram

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