Category Archives: Nutrition

Gut Microbiome and Dietary Fiber Diet Influences Microbial Metabolism

In normal conditions, meal ingestion induces satiation and fullness which, depending on the type of foods ingested, individual sensitivity and reflex activity, may have a pleasurable dimension leading to digestive well-being. However, 84% of people with IBS experience digestive symptoms related to food intake, including abdominal pain, bloating and abdominal distension, which are not secondary to structural abnormalities in their digestive tract.

The study of factors that determine digestive sensations is currently an active area of research for scientists such as those at the University Hospital Vall d’Hebron in Barcelona, Spain.

A new cross-over, randomized study, led by Dr. Fernando Azpiroz from the Digestive System Research Unit at University Hospital Vall d’Hebron, elucidates how diet influences gut microbiota composition and metabolic activity, colon biomass and perception of digestive sensations in healthy individuals.

The authors administered a high-fat and low-residue diet (Western-type diet; 4.7 g fiber from food sources) versus a low-fat and high-residue diet (fiber-enriched Mediterranean diet; 54.2 g fiber from food sources) for two weeks in 20 healthy men after a period of two weeks on a balanced diet. Thus, all participants received both interventions, but the order in which they were received was randomized.

Although the two diet types were well tolerated, leading to a sensation of digestive well-being, the fiber-enriched Mediterranean diet led to high scores of flatulence and rumbling sounds caused by gas moving through the intestines and a higher number of anal gas evacuations. Stool consistency, stool weight and colonic content were also higher in participants on the fiber-enriched Mediterranean diet.

Although at the gut microbiota composition level some genus and species were enriched in participants who followed the fiber-enriched Mediterranean diet, a core gut microbiota was shared regardless of dietary intervention.

In contrast, both diets had a notable effect on gut microbiota metabolic activity. As such, a total of 27 metabolic pathways showed higher expression following the fiber-enriched Mediterranean diet. It is interesting to note that not all the genomes found in gut microbial communities were influenced in the same way by diet. For example, the fiber-enriched Mediterranean diet led to a gut microbiome with high diversity and enriched in up to 1322 gene families with a less anal gas evacuation in participants with a gut microbiota that did not change after each intervention (i.e., robust gut microbiota).

The results suggest that the metabolic capacity of the gut microbiome might adapt to dietary substrates so dietary fiber does not necessarily be the culprit of symptoms in all people. While patients with gut-brain interaction disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome usually exclude fiber from their diet as means to improve symptoms, the current findings show this choice could not relate to anal gas evacuations in a subset of people.

A short period of two weeks was enough time for the gut microbiota to adapt to dietary substrates, which highlights the importance of evaluating in a personalized way the need to exclude dietary fiber for managing digestive issues. Indeed, a small amount (10 g) of fiber daily has been shown to be enough to selectively promote the growth of beneficial Bifidobacterium species in the gut. Furthermore, a previous intervention study showed that low-dose prebiotics were superior to the known exclusion FODMAP diet for managing digestive symptoms, suggesting that digestive symptoms can be alleviated by modulating the metabolic activity and composition of the intestinal microbiota with diet.

In conclusion, the findings show that although diet does not always lead to changes in gut microbiota composition, it can have a profound effect on gut microbial metabolic functions. That, in turn, can have implications for healthy subjects and patients with digestive symptoms with no detectable abnormalities according to conventional diagnostic methods.

References:

Böhn L, Störsrud S, Törnblom H, et al. Self-reported food-related gastrointestinal symptoms in IBS are common and associated with more severe symptoms and reduced quality of life. Am J Gastroenterol. 2013; 108(5):634-641. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2013.105.

Barber C, Mego M, Sabater C, et al. Differential effects of Western and Mediterranean-type diets on gut microbiota: A metagenomics and metabolomics approach. Nutrients. 2021; 13(8):2638. doi: 10.3390/nu13082638.

So D, Whelan K, Rossi M, et al. Dietary fiber intervention on gut microbiota composition in healthy adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2018; 107(6):965-983. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqy041.

September 27th, 2021
By Andreu Prados:  Andreu Prados holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy & Human Nutrition and Dietetics. Science writer special in gut microbiota and probiotics, working also as lecturer and consultant in nutrition and healthcare

Racing the Tract app Is An Educational Game For All Ages

 

 

 

 

Created by Teena Chopra, MD, MPH

Racing The Tract

Available on Apple Store

‎Educational, fun, and free! Welcome to Racing the Tract, a fun and educational game that teaches you how to maintain a healthy Gut Microbiome by making healthy diet and lifestyle choices, and answering trivia questions. Make it to the end of the race track by gaining good bacteria points.

Cost:  FREE

 

Air Fryer Chicken Recipe

Ingredients:

1 to 4 Chicken Breasts (skinless/boneless)

2 tsp Olive Oil

1/4 tsp Salt – as desired

1/4 tsp Pepper – as desired

1/4 tsp Garlic Powder 

To Prepare:

  1. Brush the chicken pieces with olive oil.
  2. Sprinkle one side with salt, pepper, as desired. Spices can be omitted or replaced with spices of choice.
  3. Place the breast in the air fryer basket seasoned side down. Then season the other side.
  4. Cook at 360° for 9 minutes (for 8 oz chicken breast). Then flip the chicken breast over and cook for another 9 minutes. Larger chicken breasts need more cook time, and smaller ones need less time. Always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.
  5. Open the air fryer immediately so it doesn’t continue cooking in the heat.
  6. * Food Safety: Check the internal temperature by placing the instant-read meat thermometer in the thickest part of each piece of chicken. The temperature should read 158°-160° F. If it is below that, close the lid of the air fryer to let the chicken cook in the residual heat for a few minutes (2 to 4 additional minutes). Then check it again with the meat thermometer.
  7. Place chicken pieces on a plate and loosely cover with foil and let it rest for 5 minutes. It will continue to cook in the residual heat (and the juices will go back into the meat). Then after 5 minutes take the temperature again. The internal temperature should not be below 165° F.
  8. Serve immediately, or prepare left-over pieces of chicken to be placed in the refrigerator immediately to be served within two days. Left-over chicken pieces can also be prepared for other recipes (e.g. chicken soup, chicken salad, chicken and pasta).

Additional Cooking Notes:

Air Fryer Chicken Breast Cook Temp & Times
Turn chicken pieces over halfway through cook time
(Your model and size of the air fryer may vary from this slightly)

Please check your Air Fryer Manual for cooking time and instructions.

Average Cooking Temperature and Times:
6 oz chicken breast 360° for 15 minutes
8 oz chicken breast 360° for 18 minutes
10 oz chicken breast 360° for 20 minutes

When cooking multiple chicken breasts at once, use the average weight of the chicken pieces added together.

Important Functions of Protein and the Role It Plays In Your Body

Maintaining Nutrition and Hydration are two of the most important factors during and recovering from a Clostridium difficile infection (CDI)

Malnutrition can develop quickly and the body needs and 20% of the human body is made up of protein.

Because your body doesn’t store protein, it’s important to get enough from your daily diet.

You can get protein from many food sources, including plants and animals.

* Always discuss dietary needs with your healthcare provider and a consult with a Registered Dietitian can be helpful. 

There is animal protein:  Animal protein sources, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy, are similar to the protein found in your body.  And there are plant protein sources, such as beans, soy, lentils and nuts.

Enzymes are proteins that aid the thousands of biochemical reactions that take place within and outside of your cells (7).

The structure of enzymes allows them to combine with other molecules inside the cell called substrates, which catalyze reactions that are essential to your metabolism (8).   Some proteins are hormones, which are chemical messengers that aid communication between your cells, tissues and organs.   Some Proteins provide structure –   keratin, collagen and elastin, which help form the connective framework of certain structures in your body (13).

Keratin is a structural protein that is found in your skin, hair and nails. Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body and is the structural protein of your bones, tendons, ligaments and skin (14). Elastin is several hundred times more flexible than collagen. Its high elasticity allows many tissues in your body to return to their original shape after stretching or contracting, such as your uterus, lungs and arteries (15).

Enzymes may also function outside the cell, such as digestive enzymes like lactase and sucrase, which help digest sugar. Enzymes require other molecules, such as vitamins or minerals, for a reaction to take place.

Bodily functions that depend on enzymes include (9):

  • Digestion
  • Energy production
  • Blood clotting
  • Muscle contraction

Proteins also maintain proper pH.

Proteins regulate the body ability  to maintain fluid balance.

Albumin and globulin are proteins in your blood that help maintain your body’s fluid balance by attracting and retaining water (21, 22).

If you don’t eat enough protein, your levels of albumin and globulin eventually decrease. Proteins can no longer keep blood in your blood vessels, and the fluid is forced into the spaces between your cells.  As the fluid continues to build up in the spaces between your cells, swelling or edema occurs, particularly in the stomach region (23).  This is a form of severe protein malnutrition called kwashiorkor that develops when a person is consuming enough calories but does not consume enough protein (24).

Proteins help form immunoglobulins, or antibodies, to fight infection

Proteins–  carry substances throughout your bloodstream — into cells, out of cells or within cells. The substances transported by these proteins include nutrients like vitamins or minerals, blood sugar, cholesterol and oxygen (30, 31, 32).

Protein contains four calories per gram, the same amount of energy that carbs provide. Fats supply the most energy, at nine calories per gram. The last thing your body wants to use for energy is protein since this valuable nutrient is widely used throughout your body.Carbs and fats are much better suited for providing energy, as your body maintains reserves for use as fuel.

The collective information above confirms protein is one of the most important nutrients for your health.

 

A simple and easy animal source of protein:

Baked Chicken recipe that can be served with a baked potato or mashed potato and soft cooked vegetables (Example: carrots, green beans).

Ingredients

    • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
    • 1 tablespoon water, or as needed

Directions

    1. Preheat convection oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
    2. Rub chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle both sides with salt to taste *do not use salt if a salt-free diet is prescribed.
    3. Place chicken in a broiler pan.and place broiler pan into the preheated oven.
    4. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
    5. Flip chicken and cook until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear. This should take about 15 minutes more.
    6. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
    7. Remove chicken from pan.
    8. Place  Chicken on plates and serve with a baked or mashed potato and soft cooked vegetables of choice (example: carrots, green beans).

 

 

Protein  Source with References:  https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/functions-of-protein#section10

Important Functions of Protein and the Role It Plays In Your Body

Maintaining Nutrition and Hydration are two of the most important factors during and recovering from a Clostridium difficile infection (CDI)

Malnutrition can develop quickly and the body needs and 20% of the human body is made up of protein.

Because your body doesn’t store protein, it’s important to get enough from your daily diet.

You can get protein from many food sources, including plants and animals.

* Always discuss dietary needs with your healthcare provider and a consult with a Registered Dietitian can be helpful. 

There is animal protein:  Animal protein sources, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy, are similar to the protein found in your body.  And there are plant protein sources, such as beans, soy, lentils and nuts.

Enzymes are proteins that aid the thousands of biochemical reactions that take place within and outside of your cells (7).

The structure of enzymes allows them to combine with other molecules inside the cell called substrates, which catalyze reactions that are essential to your metabolism (8).   Some proteins are hormones, which are chemical messengers that aid communication between your cells, tissues and organs.   Some Proteins provide structure –   keratin, collagen and elastin, which help form the connective framework of certain structures in your body (13).

Keratin is a structural protein that is found in your skin, hair and nails. Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body and is the structural protein of your bones, tendons, ligaments and skin (14). Elastin is several hundred times more flexible than collagen. Its high elasticity allows many tissues in your body to return to their original shape after stretching or contracting, such as your uterus, lungs and arteries (15).

Enzymes may also function outside the cell, such as digestive enzymes like lactase and sucrase, which help digest sugar. Enzymes require other molecules, such as vitamins or minerals, for a reaction to take place.

Bodily functions that depend on enzymes include (9):

  • Digestion
  • Energy production
  • Blood clotting
  • Muscle contraction

Proteins also maintain proper pH.

Proteins regulate the body ability  to maintain fluid balance.

Albumin and globulin are proteins in your blood that help maintain your body’s fluid balance by attracting and retaining water (21, 22).

If you don’t eat enough protein, your levels of albumin and globulin eventually decrease. Proteins can no longer keep blood in your blood vessels, and the fluid is forced into the spaces between your cells.  As the fluid continues to build up in the spaces between your cells, swelling or edema occurs, particularly in the stomach region (23).  This is a form of severe protein malnutrition called kwashiorkor that develops when a person is consuming enough calories but does not consume enough protein (24).

Proteins help form immunoglobulins, or antibodies, to fight infection

Proteins–  carry substances throughout your bloodstream — into cells, out of cells or within cells. The substances transported by these proteins include nutrients like vitamins or minerals, blood sugar, cholesterol and oxygen (30, 31, 32).

Protein contains four calories per gram, the same amount of energy that carbs provide. Fats supply the most energy, at nine calories per gram. The last thing your body wants to use for energy is protein since this valuable nutrient is widely used throughout your body.Carbs and fats are much better suited for providing energy, as your body maintains reserves for use as fuel.

The collective information above confirms protein is one of the most important nutrients for your health.

 

A simple and easy animal source of protein:

Baked Chicken recipe that can be served with a baked potato or mashed potato and soft cooked vegetables (Example: carrots, green beans).

Ingredients

    • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
    • 1 tablespoon water, or as needed

Directions

    1. Preheat convection oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
    2. Rub chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle both sides with salt to taste *do not use salt if a salt-free diet is prescribed.
    3. Place chicken in a broiler pan.and place broiler pan into the preheated oven.
    4. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
    5. Flip chicken and cook until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear. This should take about 15 minutes more.
    6. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
    7. Remove chicken from pan.
    8. Place  Chicken on plates and serve with a baked or mashed potato and soft cooked vegetables of choice (example: carrots, green beans).

 

 

Protein  Source with References:  https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/functions-of-protein#section10