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Eating lots of vegetables, fish, olive oil boost ‘good’ bacteria in gut levels by 10%

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MEDITERRANEAN DIET…Mediterranean diet, rich in fish, boiled potatoes, whole fruits, vegetables, legumes, and olive oil, and low consumption of juices has lower risk of PHOTO CREDIT: www.diabetesselfmanagement.com<br />

Eating a Mediterranean diet boosts ‘good’ bacteria in the gut, new research suggests.

Eating lots of vegetables, fish and olive oil improves good bacteria in the stomach by up to seven per cent compared with a western diet, a study found.

Lead author Dr Hariom Yadav, from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina, said: “We have about two billion good and bad bacteria living in our gut.

“If the bacteria are of a certain type and not properly balanced, our health can suffer.

“Our study showed that the good bacteria, primarily Lactobacillus, most of which are probiotic, were significantly increased in the Mediterranean-diet group.”

Poor gut bacteria has previously been linked to conditions such as depression and pneumonia.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, used animals to mimic two human diets, as this allowed researchers to carefully monitor and control the nutrients ingested.

According to Dr. Yadav, studies in humans rely on self-reporting questionnaires, which may be ‘only estimated’.

The study compared a typical western diet, which is made up of lard, cholesterol and refined sugars, with the Mediterranean way of eating.

Both diets contain butter, eggs and sucrose, as well as the same number of calories.

After 30 months, the research team analysed the bacteria in the digestive track of animals.

They found the diversity of gut bacteria in the group which ate the Mediterranean-style diet was much greater.


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