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Your Gut’s Well-Being Is Surprisingly Essential To Your Overall Health

Science By
(Chris Gramly/Creative RF/Getty Images)
(Chris Gramly/Creative RF/Getty Images)


Scientists now believe that the health of our intestinal microbes, which are believed to contribute to the onset of chronic diseases, may be seriously affected by poor diet. Microbiologist Justin Sonnenburg studied the intestinal microbes of Florentine children and those from a village in Burkina Faso. Surprisingly, the children from Burkina Faso, whose diet was mostly comprised of grains, had more diverse microbes than the children from Florence, despite the latter’s more refined diet. Nautilus‘ Moises Velasquez-Manoff describes what the results may mean:

“Where did that diversity come from? Humans can’t digest soluble fiber, so we enlist microbes to dismantle it for us, sopping up their metabolites. The Burkina Faso microbiota produced about twice as much of these fermentation by-products, called short-chain fatty acids, as the Florentine. That gave a strong indication that fiber, the raw material solely fermented by microbes, was somehow boosting microbial diversity in the Africans.”

Read the full story on how diet and intestinal microbial community affect the health of our children here.