A weak ecosystem of bacteria in human gut due to a poor dietary diversity is likely to trigger diseases like Type 2 diabetes and obesity, finds new research, suggesting people to eat a balanced, diverse diet.
Changes in farming practices over the last 50 years have resulted in decreased agricultural diversity, which in turn has resulted in decreased dietary diversity.
The findings, published in the journal Molecular Metabolism, revealed that the reduction has changed the richness of the human gut microbiota and the community of microorganisms living in the gut.
“Healthy individuals posses a diverse gut microbiota but a reduced microbiotic richness gives rise to Type 2 diabetes, obesity and inflammatory bowel disease,” said the team from Pennington Biomedical Research Centre in US.
Gut microbiota function as an endocrine organ, metabolising specific nutrients from the diet and producing specific substances that act as metabolic signals in the host.
Like all healthy ecosystems, richness of microbiota species characterises the gut microbiome in healthy individuals. Conversely, a loss in species diversity is a common finding in several disease states.
This microbiome is flooded with energy in the form of undigested and partially digested foods, and in some cases drugs and dietary supplements.
Each microbiotic species in the biome transforms that energy into new molecules, which may signal messages to physiological systems of the host.
The more diverse the diet, the more diverse the microbiome and the more adaptable it will be to perturbations, the researchers noted.