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How does your balance of macronutrients affect the gut microbiome?

Dr. Amy Nett: This is another great question and one that I don’t think we have all the answers to. Essentially we know that certain foods will alter our own biochemistry and may create a more favorable environment for certain microbes. We also know that some microbes prefer certain substrates over others. Again, looking at the journal Nature, there was a study in 2014 called “Diet Rrapidly and Rreproducibly Aalters the Hhuman Ggut Mmicrobiome.” This was sort of interesting in that it showed the short-term consumption of diets composed entirely of animal or plant proteins altered the microbial community structure and the microbial gene expression. It found that certain organisms grew more favorably when participants ate an animal-based diet or just a plant-based diet. Certainly again it’s change in our physiology that will promote certain microbes. I don’t know if the details have really been elucidated in terms of specific signaling or beyond that, but we know that, as was covered in the material this week, our microbiome changes day to day and will change due to the amount of stress we’re experiencing, the amount of sleep we had the night before, what our diet looks like that day, and even based on the time of day, there are going to be changes in our microbiome, but certainly our food will alter that as well.

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