Your gut bacteria determine which diet is best for you for weight reduction.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Microbiome
New research enables tailored diet advice based on our personal gut microbiome.
Systems biologists have, for the first time, successfully identified in detail how some of our most common intestinal bacteria interact during metabolism.
Every person has a different Microbiome signature and therefore benefits from a personal diet plan.
Wow!! This is a revelation!!
I thought so too.
Top Reddit comment:
This could be really useful in helping people eat foods that help them maintain stable blood sugar levels and not experience sugar cravings. Also, it could help explain mild food intolerances. Figuring this out by trial and error takes a lot of time.
I'm reading the full text right now (yay still being in college), but from the abstract this sounds really cool. We've known for a little while that your gut causes cravings and can signal your brain (you have neurons in your gut), that it 'needs' certain foods based on nutrients that it expects/needs more of. It's been demonstrated that altering your gut chemistry can alter food cravings and likes/dislikes, and in fact many people believe that one of the reasons obesity is so hard to overcome is because it's so hard to retrain your gut after years and years of teaching it to, presumably, love and crave shitty food. Here's a short article about this is you wanna read more - http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gut-second-brain/. In short, your gut has a ton of influence over you.
Anyway, getting to the study, this team has created a computational model that takes in information about a person's gut flora, identifies how much of each species of bacteria are present, and the based on information about that flora makeup can determine the microbiome's metabolic rate, along with by-products of digestion:
The experimental data confirmed that the GEMs (genome-scale metabolic models) predicted the metabolism and biomass growth for each bacterial species (Figures 1B–1D). The GEMs correctly predicted that acetate can be produced by B. adolescentis, B. thetaiotaomicron, and R. bromii; butyrate can be produced by E. rectale and F. prausnitzii; and propionate can only be produced by B. thetaiotaomicron (Figure 1B). Our simulations also predicted that these five bacteria synthesize significantly higher levels of essential amino acids (valine, leucine, methionine, lysine, and phenylalanine) compared to non-essential amino acids (serine, tyrosine, and threonine) ( Figure 1D).
Note that observations like the one above were validated by culturing the bacteria and observing them. In addition, their complete model was validated by taking 45 overweight/obese individuals and splitting them into high/low metabolic groups, altering their diet for 6 weeks (high protein, low GI, energy restricted), and then taking fecal measurements. This allowed them to compare their model to actual observed effects that this kind of diet has.
So the part of this study is titled "Model-Based Diet Design to Improve Metabolism of LGC Individuals" (the aforementioned low metabolism group):
From this model analysis, we found that the gut microbiome of HGC individuals had a higher consumption of these eight essential amino acids at week 6 compared to that of the LGC subjects at baseline. An incremental augmentation of these amino acids would permit to acquire a similar metabolism of the gut microbiome in LGC and HGC subjects (Figure 7A). Many different combinations of food sources could fulfill such a requirement for essential amino acids. However, in an attempt to identify some overall guidelines, we correlated the difference between the two different requirements of amino acids with the composition of these amino acids in different food types (Table S8).
This showed that LGC individuals should significantly increase consumption of dairy products, vegetables, white meat, fish pulses, eggs, oils, and butter. In the meantime, they should considerably reduce intake of pastries, bread, and rice to improve and slightly reduce intake of cereals and nuts (Figure 7B).
This is all just basically saying that people with a lower metabolism have a gut fauna that processes metabolites slower (no way). But, it is possible for people to raise their metabolism via diet alone, by improving their gut fauna, which is enlightening. Hurrah! I don't see any reason why this process (since the models have been validated) wouldn't be able to be applied to specific individuals, as opposed to groups, to give tailored "Eat this, don't eat that" advice. Neat stuff.
TL;DR certain foods promote the growth of certain bacteria (five main species were used in this study) in your gut. Different concentrations of these types of bacteria are more or less efficient than others in terms of processing metabolites. Changing what you eat can change the makeup of your gut and make you weigh less.