Nav: Home

Diet, nutrition have profound effects on gut microbiome

March 25, 2020

WASHINGTON (March 25, 2020) -- Nutrition and diet have a profound impact on microbial composition in the gut, in turn affecting a range of metabolic, hormonal, and neurological processes, according to a literature review by scientists from the George Washington University (GW) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The article is published in Nutrition Reviews.

Until recently, the human microbiome remained an understudied target for novel strategies to diagnose and treat disease. The prevalence of diseases that may involve disruption of the gut microbiome are increasing and there is currently no consensus in the scientific community on what defines a "healthy gut" microbiome.

The review from GW and NIST systematically assessed the current understanding of the interactions between nutrition and the gut microbiome in healthy adults.

"As we learn more about the gut microbiome and nutrition, we are learning how influential they are to each other and, perhaps more central to public health, the role they both play in prevention and treatment of disease," said Leigh A. Frame, PhD, MHS, program director of the Integrative Medicine Programs at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Through their review, the authors found that the bi-directional relationship between nutrition and the gut microbiome is emerging as more research is conducted on how microbiota utilize and produce both macro and micronutrients. The authors found that research has mostly focused on the benefits of dietary fiber, which serves as fuel for gut microbiota, and also found that, in contrast, protein promotes microbial protein metabolism and potentially harmful byproducts that may sit in the gut, increasing the risk of negative health outcomes.

"This review reveals that the measurement tools currently in our arsenal are ineffective for identifying the microbial and molecular signatures that can serve as robust indicators of health and disease," said Scott Jackson, adjunct assistant professor of clinical research and leadership at SMHS and leader of the Complex Microbial Systems Group at NIST.

The authors suggest that future research must consider individual responses to diet and how the gut microbiome responds to dietary interventions, as well as emphasized function of the microbiome (what it does) over merely composition (what is there).
-end-
The article, titled "Current Explorations and Nutrition and the Gut Microbiome: A Comprehensive Evaluation of the Review Literature," is published in Nutrition Reviews and is available at
George Washington University

Related Nutrition Articles:

Are women getting adequate nutrition during preconception and pregnancy?
In a Maternal & Child Nutrition analysis of published studies on the dietary habits of women who were trying to conceive or were pregnant, most studies indicated that women do not meet nutritional recommendations for vegetable, cereal grain, or folate intake.
Supermarkets and child nutrition in Africa
Hunger and undernutrition are widespread problems in Africa. At the same time, overweight, obesity, and related chronic diseases are also on the rise.
Horse nutrition: Prebiotics do more harm than good
Prebiotics are only able to help stabilise the intestinal flora of horses to a limited degree.
New study measures how much of corals' nutrition comes from hunting
When it comes to feeding, corals have a few tricks up their sleeve.
Nutrition programs alone are not enough to support healthy brain development
Caregiving programs are five times more effective than nutrition programs in supporting smarter, not just taller, children in low- and middle-income countries.
Ant farmers boost plant nutrition
Research, led by Dr. Guillaume Chomicki from the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, has demonstrated that millions of years of ant agriculture has remodeled plant physiology.
Featured research findings from Nutrition 2019
Press materials are now available for Nutrition 2019, the flagship meeting of the American Society for Nutrition, to be held June 8-11, 2019 at the Baltimore Convention Center.
Individual nutrition shows benefits in hospital patients
Individualized nutrition not only causes hospital patients to consume more protein and calories, but also improves clinical treatment outcomes.
Study reveals how motivation affects nutrition and diet
New research led by the University of East Anglia suggests that people with a positive attitude are more likely to eat healthily.
High-protein rice brings value, nutrition
A new advanced line of rice, with higher yield, is ready for final field testing prior to release.
More Nutrition News and Nutrition Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Uncharted
There's so much we've yet to explore–from outer space to the deep ocean to our own brains. This hour, Manoush goes on a journey through those uncharted places, led by TED Science Curator David Biello.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#555 Coronavirus
It's everywhere, and it felt disingenuous for us here at Science for the People to avoid it, so here is our episode on Coronavirus. It's ok to give this one a skip if this isn't what you want to listen to right now. Check out the links below for other great podcasts mentioned in the intro. Host Rachelle Saunders gets us up to date on what the Coronavirus is, how it spreads, and what we know and don't know with Dr Jason Kindrachuk, Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and infectious diseases at the University of Manitoba. And...
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 1: Numbers
In a recent Radiolab group huddle, with coronavirus unraveling around us, the team found themselves grappling with all the numbers connected to COVID-19. Our new found 6 foot bubbles of personal space. Three percent mortality rate (or 1, or 2, or 4). 7,000 cases (now, much much more). So in the wake of that meeting, we reflect on the onslaught of numbers - what they reveal, and what they hide.  Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.