The difference between a diet high in fish oils and one chock-full of lard is pretty obvious. What hasn’t been obvious is the metabolic effects that these diets can have on our gut microbes. Researchers in Sweden looked into the quandary, publishing their results in Cell Metabolism.
In the study, there were two groups of mice. One group of mice were given healthy fats (fish oils). The other group were given unhealthy fats (lard). The two groups had very different gut floras, but when gut flora from the fish-oil mice were injected into other mice (from a third group), that new gut flora was able to protect the third-group mice from inflammation and diet-based weight gain. This means “that gut microbes are an independent factor aggravating inflammation associated with diet-induced obesity and gives hope that a probiotic might help counteract a “greasy” diet.” —Cell Press
“We wanted to determine whether gut microbes directly contribute to the metabolic differences associated with diets rich in healthy and unhealthy fats,” says first study author Robert Caesar of the University of Gothenburg. Even though the study was done in mice, “our goal is to identify interventions for optimizing metabolic health in humans.”
In their next set of studies, the researchers plan to see if the gut flora from the fish-oil mice can aid the lard-eating mice.
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