Title: Long-term dietary intervention reveals resilience of the gut microbiota despite changes in diet and weight American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 2020
Overview: This was a clinical trial that tracked the gut microbiota over a 12-month period to see how it changed due to dietary changes. Participants (n=49) in the trial were randomized to either a health low-carb diet or a healthy low-fat diet.
The results were really interesting…
After 3-months of dietary intervention, the trial participants had significant changes to their gut microbiome as a result of changing what they eat. The changes tracked with either the dietary changes (low fat or low carb) or the expected microbiome changes due to weight loss. But, what was really interesting was that after the initial shift in the gut microbiome, it ended up shifting back to the baseline composition for most of the participant – even with the participants maintaining their diet for the rest of the 12-month period.
A lot of research shows that the gut microbiome influences overall health, weight, and mental health. While you would assume that the composition of the gut microbiome would depend on what you eat, it turns out that the changes due to food seem transient. Instead, the overall balance of different bacteria is fairly stable throughout a person’s lifetime.