Gut Bacteria Uniquely Fluctuates Daily
the MPR take:
When two scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) wanted to better understand the role of bacteria in the human digestive tract, they decided to use themselves as subjects in the study. For a year, they each collected daily stool samples to measure bacterial populations and used an iPhone app to keep tabs on diet, exercise, sleep, mood, and illness. Dietary changes were particularly connected to daily variations in the populations of bacterial strains; more fiber increased Bifidobacteria, Roseburia, and Eubacterium rectal, while citrus boosted specific bacteria (Faecalibacterium prausnitzii) that could protect against inflammatory bowel disease. One subject experienced food poisoning caused by Salmonella and saw populations from the phylum Firmicutes nearly disappear while Salmonella constituted nearly 30% of the gut microbe. The Firmicutes returned to 40% of the total microbe population after recovery, but the majority of the strains differed from the ones originally present. The other subject experienced diarrheal illness and microbe disruptions but the populations returned to their original composure after recovery. This work supports the theory that each individual has a distinct microbial profile that is unique and stable over time with occasional interruptions, the authors state.
Life's ups and downs affect the trillions of bacteria in our gut in detectable ways, based on a year's worth of data from two researchers who studied their own poop. He and his colleague, Lawrence David, each went through a major change: Alm suffered a case of Salmonella poisoning, and David took a trip to Southeast Asia (with diarrheal consequences).
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