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Research

A Poor Diet May Affect the Colon Microbiota

The diet of a person is fundamental in having overall good health. This is why health professionals stress the consumption of nutritional foods. Like all other organs and systems in the body, the diet also affects the colon microbiota.

Today, Standard American diets are full of processed foods. Not only do these foods provide no health benefits but instead they can be harmful. Research on packaged and processed foods show that they may cause obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Consequently, it can be said that diet is one of the main factors in the diseases prevalent in the world today. Without switching diet, one cannot improve his or her health or prevent health problems.

So, further research on the links between diet and different diseases is a need at the moment. Research from the past is majorly observational.

For instance, there are no trial studies on the connection between processed foods and cancer. Hence, the underlying mechanisms of such links are not clear to scientists.

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Now, a recent study aims to know more about how and why this happens. More specifically, the research focuses on the effects of diets on colon microbiota which may lead to cancer.

The lead author of the study is Dr. Li Jiao, an associate professor of medicine gastroenterology at Baylor College of Medicine. The findings of the study appear in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Read the study here.

What Was the Research Methodology?

The development of new technologies in today’s world helps in conducting a lot of health-related too. In the new study, the team also looked at the participants’ colon microbiota using a gene sequencing technique.

More particularly, the 16s RNA sequencing technique was the main method. It helped the researchers examine around ninety-seven biopsies of colonic mucosa. These biopsies came from thirty-five participants with good health.

A colonoscopy was performed on these participants between the years 2015-2017. In addition, they also gave information on their dietary habits and food consumption via questionnaires.

The colon microbiota samples were an important part of this research. According to Dr. Jiao, this is because colon microbiota can provide more information on the immunity in a person.

Rather than looking at gut microbiome through fecal examination, colon microbiota can, therefore, be more useful.

For the diets, the researchers used the Dietary Guidelines for Americans alongside the Healthy Eating Index. The reason for this was because previous studies show a link between these guidelines and better health.

What Was the Result?

After looking at the results, the researchers saw a diet high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables was the healthiest. People with such diets also had a low intake of fat, sugar, and alcohol.

The next conclusion was such a diet also lead to more healthful colon microbiota. These bacteria protect from many conditions and have anti-inflammatory properties.

On the other hand, diets full of processed foods and sugars led to higher levels of dangerous bacteria. For example, Fusobacterium increased in people with such diets. Higher levels of this bacteria also increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

This study shows how diet is important in yet another way. Leading author Dr. Jiao says that diet is one thing can is controllable. Managing it properly can protect from many future diseases.

 

 

 

Marilyn Baer

Marilyn is a graduate of Biochemistry. Prior to joining Top Health News, she has spent many years in research. Her specializations are on proteomics and cellular biology analysis.

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