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  • Do we chose what we eat or do the bacteria living in our gut decide?

  • Hello everyone! I'm Reina and this is DNews. The friendly bacteria that live within us

  • may not only be affecting food cravings but also our moods. Research has shown that this

  • may even lead to a causal relationship with obesity.

  • Researchers from UC San Francisco, Arizona State University and University of New Mexico

  • have concluded that microbes do in fact influence eating habits and food choices to favor consumption

  • of specific nutrients that the microbes themselves thrive best on. In the past it was thought

  • that microbes passively took in whatever nutrients we ingested.

  • Bacterial species have different nutrients they thrive off of; some favor sugars, others

  • can favor starches, fats, et cetera. And because the human gut is directly linked to the immune

  • system, nervous system, and endocrine system, the community of microbes that live within

  • you influence your eating choices! The gut microbiome does this by releasing signaling

  • molecules, which allow the cells to perceive and respond correctly to the microenvironment.

  • Then, those signals go on to influence our physiologic and behavioral responses.

  • The Director of Human and Social Evolution at UCSF, explains "Microbes have the capacity

  • to manipulate behavior and mood through altering the neural signals in the vagus nerve, changing

  • taste receptors, producing toxins to make us feel bad, and releasing chemical rewards

  • to make us feel good."

  • For example, in mice particular strands of bacteria can increase anxious behavior. In

  • a nutshell, the bacteria didn’t like what the mice were eating so they chemically signaled

  • a reaction that would cause the mice to feel anxiety. The mice would then correlate the

  • food to be causing the anxiety and cease to continue eating it.[a]

  • On a larger scale, clinical trials discovered that drinking a probiotic containing Lactobacillus

  • casei (kay see ee), which can relieve gastrointestinal pathogenic bacterial disease, actually improved

  • low moods.

  • Dr. Carlo Maley, director of the UCSF Center for Evolution and Cancer explains

  • "Bacteria within the gut are manipulative. There is a diversity of interests represented

  • in the microbiome, some aligned with our own dietary goals, and others not."

  • The speed with which the microbiome can change may be encouraging to those who seek to improve

  • health by altering microbial populations. This usually happens through food and supplement

  • choices, by ingesting specific bacterial species in the form of probiotics, or by killing targeted

  • species with antibiotics. According to researchers, optimizing the balance among bacterial species

  • in our gut may allow us to lead less obese and healthier lives.

  • Researchers[b] proposed further studies to investigate the power microbes hold over us.

  • They say that "Targeting the microbiome could open up possibilities for preventing a variety

  • of disease from obesity and diabetes to cancers of the gastro-intestinal tract. We are only

  • beginning to scratch the surface of the importance of the microbiome for human health.”

  • What do you think? Would you get a gut microbe transplant in hopes of improving your health?

  • Tell us in the comment section down below, don’t forget to give that like button some

  • love and subscribe if you haven’t already! For more of my videos head on over to sourcefed

  • and sourcefednerd! Thanks for tunin in!

Do we chose what we eat or do the bacteria living in our gut decide?


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