Fermented foods boost gut microbiome diversity and reduce inflammation

Fermented foods boost gut microbiome diversity and reduce inflammation

A diet rich in fermented foods can increase the diversity of gut microbes and decrease molecular signs of inflammation, according to a new study led by researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine, U.S..

In the study, 36 healthy adults were randomly assigned to a 10-week diet that included fermented or high-fiber foods. The two diets resulted in different effects on the gut microbiome and the immune system.

Overall microbial diversity was increased by eating yogurt, kefir, fermented cottage cheese, kimchi and other fermented vegetables, vegetable brine beverages and kombucha tea, with larger servings having a more substantial effect.

In addition, four types of immune cells in the fermented food group were less activated. Moreover, the levels of 19 inflammatory proteins evaluated in blood samples decreased. Interleukin 6, one of these proteins, has been linked to rheumatoid arthritis, Type 2 diabetes, and chronic stress. Overall microbial diversity in participants increased by eating fermented foods.

In participants who ate a high-fiber diet rich in legumes, seeds, whole grains, nuts, vegetables and fruits, none of the 19 inflammatory proteins decreased. On average, the diversity of their gut microbes remained stable.

Diet affects the gut microbiome, which can alter the immune system and overall health. Obesity and diabetes have been linked to a lack of microbiome diversity.

Fermented foods can aid with weight management and reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease, Nutrition Insight reported.

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