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March 02, 2018

As an enthusiastic home cook and passionate eater, you obviously enjoy reading cookbooks like the tome from supermodel Chrissy Teigen. While you try out new recipes, you need to spare a minute to think if you are doing this because you want to eat this or your gut bacteria are dictating your choices!

Gut bacteria or gut microbes are a complex set of microorganisms that live in the human digestive system. There are trillions of such gut bacteria and more than thousand different species. While about one-third of the gut bacteria are common to many people, the rest are unique to each individual.

Recent studies have focused on the complex interplay between gut bacteria including the amount and the types and human health.


Health and Gut bacteria

Gut bacteria are linked to many health functions including:

  • Synthesizing certain vitamins like vitamin K and B12 that can be hard to obtain from foods
  • Maintaining the critical balance of healthy bacteria by destroying harmful ones
  • Boosting immunity
  • Ensuring optimal digestion and absorption of other nutrients
  • Breaking down high fibre foods and fats to release substances that help in cholesterol and blood sugar regulation

In addition gut bacteria also affect mood, cravings, depression and other aspects of emotional health as studies have shown. What we eat in turn dictates what types of bacteria thrive in our gut!


Link between craving and gut bacteria

Although the interplay was speculated for years, conclusive proof was elusive. Recent research by neuroscientist Carlos Ribeiro and his team found that gut bacteria and other microorganisms can detect what nutrients are missing in the host’s body and signals the cravings accordingly to fill the gaps. Ribeiro believes gut bacteria dictate what you eat just like calculating how a car can run before running out of fuel. The interesting study fed fruit flies different diets with the mixture of essential amino acids. Those fruit flies whose diet had any single amino acid missing developed a craving for protein-rich yeast to make up for the gap. But when the scientists increased the quantity of five types of gut bacteria, these fruit flies lost the craving to eat more protein.

In essence, this study shows you eat what your gut bacteria tell you to eat rather than what you want to! So while you enjoy your celebrity cookbooks that are fun to read and try out recipes, remember you may just be following your gut bacteria’s instructions!

Disclaimer: The health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. VitaminsOnly strongly recommends to consult health care professionals for any questions concerning your health.

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