A recent study, conducted by a team of researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, US, finds that people who regularly drink coffee have healthier compositions of bacteria in the guts.
The study included 34 participants who were asked to undergo a screening colonoscopy and endoscopy to confirm that their colons are healthy. The researchers obtained 97 colonic mucosa biopsies from different segments of the colon, extracted microbial DNA, and performed 16s rRNA sequencing analysis.
The analysis of the received data showed that people who consume lots of caffeine had high levels of “good” bacteria such as Faecalibacterium and Roseburia, and low levels of Erysipelatoclostridium, a potentially harmful bacterial genus.
The authors write in their paper: “Higher caffeine consumption was associated with increased richness and evenness of the mucosa-associated gut microbiota, and higher relative abundance of anti-inflammatory bacteria, such as Faecalibacterium and Roseburia and lower levels of potentially harmful Erysipelatoclostridium.”
Within the scope of the study, a team of scientists grouped 160 dietary factors under seven food patterns and looked at their anti-inflammatory effects across four cohorts of participants which included patients with Crohn’s disease, patients with ulcerative colitis, the general population, and patients with irritable bowel syndrome.
The researchers had the following groups of food patterns: plant-based diet, plant protein, animal protein, low-fat fermented dairy. Mediterranean dietary pattern, bread, and legumes plus fish and nuts, and meat, potatoes, and gravy plus sweets, sugar, fast food, and soft drinks.
The researchers conclude in their paper: “A diet characterized by nuts, fruits, greater vegetable and legume intake than animal protein, combined with moderate consumption of animal-derived foods like fish, lean meat, poultry, fermented low-fat dairy, and red wine, and a lower intake of red meat, processed meat, and sweets, is beneficially associated with the gut ecosystem.”
New research from the University of California, Berkeley, discovered that hundreds of different human gut bacteria are electrogenic (they can generate electricity).
These types of bacteria include Listeria monocytogenes (causing of diarrhea), Clostridium perfringens (causing gangrene), and Enterococcus faecalis (acquired during hospital stays), as well as benign bacteria in the gut such as probiotics. The researchers observe, while others, such as the Lactobacilli strains, play a role in fermentation.
Prof. Dan Portnoy explains: “The fact that so many bugs that interact with humans, either as pathogens or in probiotics or in our microbiota or involved in the fermentation of human products, are electrogenic — that had been missed before.”
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