Influence of diet on the intestinal microbiota
Diet has a significant impact on the gut microbiome (gut flora). Not only does it play an important role what and how much is eaten, but also the timing of food intake is essential.
A new study involving researchers from the University of California, San Diego examined the effects of diet and feeding times on the composition of the gut microbiome and RNA (transcriptome) molecules made in mouse cells. The results were published in the journal Cell Reports.
billions of microorganisms in the gut
According to researchers, about 500 to 1000 types of bacteria and a total of about 100,000 trillion microorganisms live in the human gut. Using a mouse model, they have now studied how diet and eating habits affect these gut microbes.
In addition, the effects of gut microbiome changes on animal health, especially obesity and type 2 diabetes, were also analyzed.
What happens in the ileum and cecum?
In mice and humans, the ileum is the last section of the small intestine, this section is connected to the cecum, the first part of the large intestine.
In the ileum, nutrients are extracted from liquefied food and the process of dehydration begins in the so-called cecum, which marks the beginning of the large intestine, the team explains.
Both processes are extremely complex, dynamic and strongly influenced by many factors. These range from the type and time of food intake to the microbial composition of the gut.
The intestinal microbiome influences, among other things, digestion, nutrient absorption, vitamin synthesis and the development of the immune system.
Gut microbiota changes throughout the day
“It’s important to recognize that the gut microbiome is constantly changing, not only based on what we eat, but also based on the time of day,” said study author Dr. Amir. Zarrinpar in a press release.
Weaknesses of previous research
The expert further reports that most research to date has assessed only a snapshot of this ever-changing environment. This makes it difficult to understand what exactly is going on in the gut.
The current study, on the other hand, used multiple snapshots throughout the day to better analyze how food and the microbiome interact to affect body weight and diabetes.
The team paid particular attention to how dietary obesity and time-restricted feeding affect the composition of the ileal microbiome and transcriptome.
Weight gain due to a disrupted gut microbiome
Dietary obesity and lack of time-restricted diets have been shown to lead to disturbances in gut microbiome rhythms in mouse models. Additionally, important signaling pathways were also disrupted, with the result that the animals became fat and their health deteriorated.
Temporarily restricted food intake
According to the author of the study, Dr. Ana Carolina Dantas Machado developed clear positive effects on the composition of the animals’ gut microbiome and on altered signaling pathways.
The study highlights the importance of diet and time-restricted eating patterns in maintaining a healthy gut microbiome, which in turn modulates the circadian rhythms (known as the biological clock) that govern metabolic health.
According to the research team, cyclical changes in the gut microbiome support the circadian rhythm and therefore the regulation and control of glucose, cholesterol and fatty acids, which has a positive effect on overall metabolic health.
“It’s a very complicated relationship between the microbiome and the host, with the microbiome co-determining the gastrointestinal function and the health of the host”, summarizes Dr. Amir Zarrinpar. (as)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.
Ana Carolina Dantas Machado Steven D Brown Amulya Lingaraju Vignesh Sivaganesh Cameron Martino, et al. : Diet and eating habits modulate the diurnal dynamics of the ileal microbiome and transcriptome; in: Cell Reports (published Volume 40, ISSUE 1, 2022-07-05), Cell ReportsUniversity of California – San Diego: A Rhythmic Small Intestinal Microbiome Prevents Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes (published 2022-07-05), University of California -San Diego
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.