Diet affects the Gut Microbes Differently in Men and Women

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jul 31, 2014

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According to a new study done by scientists at the University of Texas at Austin, microbes that live in the gut of males as well as females react differently to diet even when the diet is identical. The scientists studied gut microbes in two species of fish as well as mice and also conducted an in-depth analysis of data that the other researchers collected on the humans.

gut microbiaThe scientists also found that in humans and fish, the diet affected the microbiota of females as well as males differently. In certain cases, different species of the microbes were seen to dominate, while in others, the diversity of the bacteria as seen to be higher in one sex compared with the other.


Lead author of the study, Daniel Bolnick, who is also a professor at The University of Texas at Austin’s College of Natural Sciences said, “Our study asks not just how diet influences the microbiome, but it splits the hosts into males and females and asks, do males show the same diet effects as females?”

While the results have found that there is significant difference in the gut microbial for males as well as females, the dietary data that was used in the analysis were organized in complex clusters of disparate factors. Also, these do not really translate into specific diet tips like eating less meat and more vegetables.

Researchers have said that it is unclear why men and would react differently to changes in diet, though there are certain possibilities. The hormones that are associated with each sex could potentially influence the gut microbes, favouring one strain over another. The sexes also differ in how their immune systems function, which can potentially affect the kind of microbes that live and die in the microbiome.

The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.

Article source: Business standard
Image courtesy: Getty
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