This one nutritional strategy can benefit gut health — and fight inflammation

Stop me if you hear This. You worry about your body image – so worried, in fact, that you can’t sleep (a lot sometimes). What if we told you that physical interruptions and sleep problems have a common denominator? Both are, at least in part, affected by the health of your gut microbiome. According to a study published in July, there may be a nutritional solution to meet all of these problems.

discovery – In the study, researchers examined how the gut microbiomes of people who ate a diet rich in fermented foods or a diet high in fiber differed from one another in terms of microbial diversity and overall health.

People who followed a diet rich in fermented foods showed increased diversity within their gut microbiome over time. They also show reduced levels of 19 proteins in the blood linked to inflammation.

inverse It counts down the 10 most surprising discoveries about your curious gut in 2021. That’s number 3. Read the The original story is here.

One of these proteins is a cytokine known as IL-6. Having too much IL-6 is associated with certain health conditions linked to inflammation, including type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic stress. Elevated levels of IL-6 are also associated with more severe symptoms of Covid-19.

“The finding that an increase in fermented foods leads to a decrease in inflammatory markers spread across an entire group of healthy adults is something people have not seen before,” said Hannah Wastik, lead author and CEO of Interface Biosciences. inverse When the study was published.

More sauerkraut, more happy gut bacteria?Steve Brisant/Tetra Images/Getty Images

Here is the background – Scientists already know that a balanced microbiome means a healthy population of microbes with anti-inflammatory powers. These microbes can reduce the risk of diabetes, obesity and irritable bowel syndrome. The presence of certain bacteria in the gut may also predict colon cancer risk.

A diverse gut community is also associated with a lower risk of certain psychiatric conditions and less severe symptoms, including depression, anxiety, stress, and feelings of overeating.

This new study adds to a growing body of evidence that fermented foods benefit your gut and make it a diverse and cosmopolitan place, but fermented foods are not a panacea.

why does it matter – Just as fermented foods aren’t a panacea for all inflammatory diseases, they’re also not a way to overrule other diet decisions you might be making.

says Dana S. Simpler, M.D., internist from Mercy Medical Center: “If someone eats a hamburger and French fries and then they wash it down with kombucha, you’re not really giving yourself a huge health advantage.” inverse. Simpler did not participate in this study.

Alternatively, pairing fermented foods with other gut-boosting tips such as a plant-based diet may help your chances of a variety of gut microbes.

There are many things that affect gut health. It’s affected by what you eat, by medications, especially antibiotics, and it’s also affected by emotion because the entire lining of our gut is lined with neurotransmitters.” inverse. “Fermented foods are just one small aspect of people’s general gut health.”

What then – A simpler point reflects the fact that many factors affect our health – both internally and externally. Wastyk and her team, for example, hope they can shed light on more of these relationships in future research.

Future studies in the Sonnenburg laboratory seek to investigate the effects of different interventions targeting the microbiome on different populations [such as] Prebiotic supplementation in older adults,” Wastyk . says inverse In an interview for this story.

Also interesting, she said, is “the synergistic effect of high-fiber foods, fermented foods, and probiotic supplementation on those with metabolic syndrome, etc.” In other words, how can a diet rich in fiber and fermented foods benefit gut health, and thus treat inflammatory-related health conditions such as diabetes? Only time and more scientific research may tell.

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