US – A new large-scale international study led by health science start-up company ZOE has revealed existence of strong links between the diet people take, the specific microbes in their gut, and the overall health of people.
The study involved a number of other institutions including; King’s College London, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), University of Trento, Italy.
According to the study, diets rich in certain plant-based foods are linked with the presence of gut microbes that are associated with a lower risk of developing conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
For example, the findings revealed that having a microbiome rich in Prevotella copri and Blastocystis species was associated with maintaining a favorable blood sugar level after a meal.
Other species were linked to lower post-meal levels of blood fats and markers of inflammation.
Researchers also discovered that the makeup of subjects’ gut microbiome was strongly associated with specific nutrients, foods, food groups and overall diet composition.
The researchers found robust microbiome-based biomarkers of obesity, as well as markers for cardiovascular disease and impaired glucose tolerance, which are key risk factors for COVID.
Previously, microbiologists know so little about many of these microbes which are informally referred to as good’ and ‘bad’ microbes.
The study however provided crucial findings about how particular foods, particularly those made from plants can positively impact the gut microbiome of consumers.
The researchers were confident that the findings obtained from the study can be used to create personalized eating plans designed specifically to improve one’s health.
“Given the highly personalized composition of each individuals’ microbiome, our research suggests that we may be able to modify our gut microbiome to optimize our health by choosing the best foods for our unique biology,” said Dr. Sarah Berry, Reader in Nutrition Sciences at King’s College London.
ZOE, the company behind the study is a healthcare science company focusing on sing machine learning combined with large scale human studies to decode the impact of nutrition on health.
The health science start-up leads the PREDICT Studies and the COVID Symptom Study, which are the world’s largest community research programs of their kind in nutrition and COVID-19 respectively.
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