Around the Web

WWW on sandEvery now and then I’ll put up a post with links to new research that I think my readers will find interesting. In these last weeks there have been several interesting stories on microbes and nutrition, and it’s almost getting difficult to keep up with the steady stream of studies on the human superorganism. In the following years we’ll learn more about how to keep this microbiome healthy and happy!
A new systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies on whole grain and body weight changes in apparently healthy adults showed that whole-grain consumption does not decrease body weight compared with non-whole-grain foods.
While most studies conclude that whole-grains are healthier than refined grains, it’s possible that antinutrients found in the fiber of whole grains stall weight loss.

Could vitamin supplements do more harm than good?
The majority of vitamin supplements are usually a waste of money as long as you eat nutritious foods. The gut microbiome is also able to synthesize a lot of the nutritional chemicals we need to survive, so a healthy and diverse microbiome should protect against vitamin deficiencies.

“Researchers at Mayo Clinic have demonstrated that gluten in the diet may modify the intestinal microbiome, increasing incidences of Type 1 diabetes.” A lot of people are sensitive to grains in general, but this is one of the first studies to suggest that gluten in itself can change the composition of bacteria in the body.

Recent studies suggest that some cancer drugs depend on bacteria to do their job, and that the varying effects of these treatments could result from differences in gut microbiome between patients.

An excellent piece in The New Yorker highlights the link between the human microbiome and thoughts and behaviour, and new evidence shows probiotics offer enormous potential for treatment of depression. Mental disorders are often associated with alterations in the human microbiome, and in the future we might see a new era in the treatment of ADHD, autism and other psychiatric disorders.

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