Typical Western Diet May Lead to Obesity-Related Changes in the Gut

A new study from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, U.S., finds that a typical Western diet that includes highly processed food rich in purified carbohydrates changes the community of fungi in the gut.Typical Western Diet May Lead to Obesity-Related Changes in the Gut

For the study, a team of researchers used a mouse model. They fed the mice either a diet rich in purified carbohydrates, or a more balanced standard lab food. After that, they investigated changes in the abundance and diversity of fungi in part of the small intestine.

The scientists discovered that when rodents consumed processed food, it reduced the diversity of fungi living in their jejunum, compared with the normal food.

The authors conclude in their paper: “We show that the gut mycobiome of healthy mice is shaped by the environment, including diet, and significantly correlates with metabolic outcomes. We demonstrate that exposure to processed diet leads to persistent differences in fungal communities that significantly associate with differential deposition of body mass in male mice compared [with] mice fed standardized diet.”

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