It has long been known that the intestinal flora is not only important for digestion, but can also make a significant contribution to our health. Researchers are now reporting that a certain diet can improve the composition of intestinal bacteria.
A research team from Australia has shown that the classic Mediterranean diet, supplemented with dairy products, has the potential to change the composition of gut bacteria for the better and trigger a variety of health benefits. The study was published in the journal Nutrients.
Mediterranean diet supplemented with dairy products
The study, carried out by researchers from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), the University of South Australia (UniSA) and Flinders University, examined how the classic Mediterranean diet, supplemented with milk, cheese and yoghurt, can influence the intestinal flora.
According to a release, adult study participants at risk of heart disease who followed the diet for eight weeks showed a significant increase in beneficial microbes associated with positive effects on overall gut health, while a decrease in harmful bacteria associated with the Risk of heart disease is associated.
The lead researcher Dr. Karen Murphy from UniSA explains that gut flora plays an important role in several aspects of health. “The Mediterranean diet contains important foods and nutrients such as fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and amino acids, all of which can help improve the intestinal environment,” says the expert.
“This research shows that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with additional dairy products can help promote a healthy gut.”
Blood pressure is also reduced
Dr. SAHMRI and Flinders University senior research scientist Jocelyn Choo, who led the microbiome analysis, says the results demonstrate a link between microbiome balance, gut health and cardiometabolic health.
“While the overall structure of the gut microbiome did not change dramatically, the study showed that changes in the levels of certain bacteria were clearly related to diet,” explains Dr. Choo.
“We found that as the number of good microbes in their gut increased, participants also had lower blood pressure. These improvements are significant given the potential impact on reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.”
Further investigation required
This study supports current evidence linking a Mediterranean diet to an increase in metabolism and highlights that positive changes in gut microbes stimulated by this diet, when fortified with dairy products, could be responsible for further cardiometabolic health improvements .
Further research is needed to determine whether these results remain consistent across the population. (ad)