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Food Transit Time Through the Gut May Effect Gut Health

Gut health is essential for overall body health, as more and more studies have found. A recent study suggests that food traveling faster through the gut may be associated with bacteria producing less harmful by-products in the digestive system and creating a healthier gut environment.


Participants in the study included 98 people in Denmark between the ages of 22 and 66, 61 of whom were women and 37 of whom were men. The researchers took urine and stool samples from all of the participants. They were asked to complete a four-day dietary registration in order to determine their habitual dietary intake. On the examination day, all of the subjects were asked to consume a standardized drink and standardized breakfast containing 3,000 kJ, which consisted of 52.6% fat, 39.7% carbohydrates, and 7% to 8% protein.


The researchers found that a longer transit time through the colon resulted in a higher amount of harmful bacteria and a switch from carbohydrate processing to protein breakdown. They suggest that a wide variety of bacteria in the colonic mucosa does not necessarily indicate a healthy gut.


Researchers from the Technical University of Denmark’s National Food Institute conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on June 27, 2016, in the journal Nature.


Having a varied composition of good bacteria in your digestive system is essential for staying healthy. Previous studies have linked healthy gut bacteria with strengthening the immune system and reducing the risk of chronic disease.


The best way to make sure you have a good variety of bacteria in your system is to eat a varied diet. Good dietary sources of gut bacteria include yogurt, milk and sauerkraut. A high quality probiotic supplement is also a great source but if you choose this option, be sure it is packaged to block light, air and moisture which can easily kill probiotics.

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