Healthy 'Mediterranean Diet' Is Good for Your Microbiome

Henrietta Brewer
February 20, 2020

However, they said, the study did not establish a causative role for the microbiome in health.

For example, the diet seemed to help stop the loss of diversity of bacterial species in the intestine; It is believed that a more diverse microbiome is healthier.

Roughly half had been placed on the diet for one year, and the others continued to eat their regular, non-Mediterranean diet.

Researchers found that consuming a Mediterranean diet was associated with beneficial changes to the gut microbiome. "The Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) is associated with health". The recent study said that an increase in the types of bacteria previously associated with several indicators of reduced frailty, such as walking speed and hand grip strength, and improved brain function; and with reduced production of potentially harmful inflammatory chemicals.

The beneficial bacteria thrived in response to the Mediterranean diet.

Another research is extolling the advantages of the Mediterranean diet, this time in regard to getting old.

"It's more than a diet, it's a lifestyle", CNN Health quoted Atlanta registered dietitian Rahaf Al Bochi from an earlier interview."It also encourages eating with friends and family, socializing over meals, mindfully eating your favorite foods, as well as mindful movement and exercise", he added.

There were many categories of participants, the ones who were either frail, on the verge of frailty, or not frail at the beginning of the study. "In the NUAGE project, we investigated if a one-year MedDiet intervention could alter the gut microbiota and reduce frailty". As a result, their condition was slowed, the researchers said.

Cognitive function - especially short-term memory - also "goes downhill as we get older", he added.

"Our findings support the feasibility of improving the habitual diet to modulate the gut microbiota, which in turn has the potential to promote healthier aging", the study authors wrote.

They were also surprised to see the Mediterranean diet had an effect on all participants regardless of where they lived, and the same bacteria responded.

(Short-chain fatty acids are compounds that may protect against disease-causing inflammation.) What's more, the Mediterranean dieters' stool samples showed fewer types of bacteria that have been linked to type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer, atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in the arteries), cirrhosis (liver disease), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), compared to the stool samples of subjects in the study who didn't follow the Mediterranean diet.

The changes were largely driven by an increase in dietary fibre and associated vitamins and minerals-specifically, C, B6, B9, copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and magnesium, the study said.

The authors cautioned that a Mediterranean diet may be impractical for older people with dental problems or trouble swallowing.

Previous research suggests that a poor/restrictive diet, which is common among older people, particularly those in long term residential care, reduces the range and types of bacteria (microbiome) found in the gut and helps to speed up the onset of frailty.

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