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How yogurt affects the gut microbiota?


The gut microbiota, a complex community of bacteria inside our gut, is more and more viewed as an important actor for health. Li Wen and Andrew Duffy, from Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, investigated how yogurt can favorably affect the gut microbiota environment or microbiome and, consequently, health.

The importance of the diversity of the gut microbiota

The composition of the gut microbiota can be influenced by our diet. Recently, it was proposed that there is a gut microbiota “signature” could be one of the causes promoting intestinal inflammation and systemic low-grade inflammation, a condition that predisposes to type 2 diabetes (T2D) and obesity.

Numerous health conditions, such as obesity, insulin resistance, fatty liver disease, and low-grade inflammation seems to be more  frequently diagnosed in people with low diversity in the gut microbiota than in people with high diversity.  Yogurt contains a variety of beneficial bacteria, also named “probiotic bacteria”. These bacteria may  impact  the gut bacteria, providing health benefits .

You are what you eat!

More and more studies suggest that a high-fat diet can lead to intestinal dysbiosis which contributes in a loss of gut permeability and activates immune cells that promote inflammation. Fermented milk, such as yogurt, delivers a lot of  lactic acid bacteria to the gastrointestinal tract. According to the authors, they may modify the intestinal environment, improve gut permeability and decrease potentially harmful enzymes produced by the resident bacteria.

Some preliminary studies suggest that consumption of probiotic bacteria such as those found in yogurt could beneficially modify the gut microbiome environment, which in turn could positively impact the host metabolism and play a role in metabolic disorders prevention.

Consuming fermented foods, like yogurt, will at least temporarily bolster the living microbes transiting through the gut, and that is likely a good thing. The statement “you are what you eat” is particularly applicable to the gut microbiota, concluded Wen and Duffy.

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Source: Li Wen, Andrew Duffy, Factors Influencing the Gut Microbiota, Inflammation, and Type 2 Diabetes, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 147, Issue 7, July 2017, Pages 1468S–1475S,

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