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American Gut: An Open Platform for Citizen Science Microbiome Research [pdf] (asm.org)
75 points by ArtWomb 8 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 5 comments


> The self-reported dietary data suggested, unexpectedly, that the number of unique plant species that a subject consumes is associated with microbial diversity, rather than self-reported categories such as "vegan" or "omnivore"

Yes! Key dietary finding from UCSD's Rob Knight is that a diverse intake of plant fiber from beans, lentils, legumes, peas, etc. directly maps to diversity in gut microbiomes.

Its a naturally occurring feedback loop. And if you get sick of split peas every night, you can seek varied sources of polyphenolic rich foods in surprisingly varied places: pomegranate seeds, cocoa powder, etc. Stay healthy :)

I'm unsure why that would be unexpected. I suppose the word vegan brings forth the idea of a large variety of fruits, grains, and vegetables however vegan itself doesn't mean eating a variety of plants, it means not consuming animal products in any form.

Additionally, since bacteria strains tend to be specific to their environment, i.e. the plant that they're living on (which the plant itself thrives better in particular environments), it makes sense that a diverse diet would lead to a more diverse gut biom.

It isn't unexpected, just interesting that it has more effect than taking (expensive) probiotics. It's information that people can act on without much difficulty.

"10% Human: How Your Body's Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness" by Alanna Collen is a great book for anyone without a biology background who would like to dive into the subject of Microbes

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