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Hunter-Gatherer People Shed Light on the Changes Occurring in Our Gut Microbiome • Mirror Daily

Diet is an important factor which influences the gut microbiome

(Mirror Daily, United States) – One of the last remaining hunter-gatherer tribes in the world holds the key to a healthier diet. Researchers discovered a microbe in their gut which has disappeared from all other populations living in industrialized societies. This can completely change the way we used to look at digestion.

Researchers looked at the diet and gut microbiome of the Hadza tribe, a hunter-gatherer tribe living in the Rift Valley, Tanzania. Their gut microbiomes not only varied every season, which doesn’t happen to people living in an industrial environment, but they also have microbes which no longer exist in our guts.

The study, published in the journal Science, suggests that diet is the major factor which influences the composition of the microbe populations present near the end of our colon. These microbes are really important in digestion.

Researchers wanted to look at the microbiome of a more traditional society, but they had to hurry. There are only 1000 Hadza people left in the world, but only 200 of them still lead the hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Even these might lose their habits in 10 or 20 years, so researchers had to start their analysis before it was too late.

Diet is really important in determining microbiome populations

Hadza people have a more repetitive and restrictive diet than us, as they only consume five foods. To see what impact it had on the gut microbiome, researchers collected around 350 stool samples from 188 people over a period of about a year.

Depending on how the food became available, the microbiome changed from the dry to the wet season. However, this wasn’t a big surprise. In modern societies, gut microbiomes can vary over hours or days, so they are really sensitive to any changes we make in our diets.

Also, given the different diet they adopted, certain microbes are more prevalent in the Hadza population than in us, while others can no longer be observed in our microbiomes. The research sheds light on the importance of diet in our lives, and how it might change microbe populations in our guts.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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