The Institute of Food Technologists has revealed that a loss of dietary diversity impacts on gut bacteria contributing to a rise in a number of chronic health conditions including a rise in obesity, Type 2 diabetes, gastrointestinal problems and other diseases. Approximately 75% of the world’s population consume only five animal species and 12 plant species. Of those 12 rise, maze and wheat contribute to 60% of all calories consumed.
Diet is the principal regulator of the gut bacterial microbiome. The microbiome contains trillions of bacteria (microbiota) in a solution of unabsorbed macro- and micro-nutrients. Previous studies have shown that microbiota create new signaling molecules that allow the microbiota to communicate with a person’s metabolic, immune system and gastrointestinal regulatory system.
“Like any ecosystem, the one that is most diverse in species is the one that is going to be the healthiest,” Mark Heiman, vice president and chief scientific officer at MicroBiome Therapeutics, at IFT15 said. “In almost every disease state that has been studied so far, the microbiome has lost diversity. There are just a few species that seem to dominate.”
People with prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes have a different microbiome than people without those health conditions. The Institute of Food Technologists created NM504, a formulation of inulin, beta glucan and antioxidants, and tested it in a pilot study of 30 research participants; half of whom received the formulation twice a day and the the other half received a placebo. Patients who received NM504 had an shift in their gut bacteria with positive health benefits that included improved glucose control, increased satiety and relief from constipation. Another therapeutic agent called MT303 derived from whole soybean pods had a similar impact and resulted in protection from colon inflammation and decreased weight gain.