Diet variation may lower gut bacteria diversity

Washington: A rainbow of dishes may satiate your taste buds but they may lower the diversity of bacteria in your gut - making your body vulnerable to a plethora of diseases.

Researchers have discovered that the more diverse the diet of a fish, the less diverse are the microbes living in its gut.

Fish that are picky eaters - focusing on just one type of food such as small crustaceans or chironomid insect larvae - have more diverse microbial communities in their intestines, the findings showed.


In contrast, fish eating a more diverse mixture of foods have less diverse microbes in their intestine.

If the effect is confirmed in humans, it could mean that the combinations of foods people eat can influence the diversity of their gut microbes.

Low diversity of bacteria in the human gut has been linked to a plethora of diseases.

"There has been a lot of work done showing that what people eat influences what gut microbes they have, and that can affect risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other things," said Daniel Bolnick, professor in The University of Texas at Austin in the US.

They used two species of fish, the threespine stickleback and the Eurasian perch, to model the human gut.

The study appeared in the journal Ecology Letters.


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