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Diet vs. Genetics: Which has more of an impact on your gut health?

Diet vs. Genetics: Which has more of an impact on your gut health?

According to a recent article in the Harvard Gazette, "genetics plays a small role compared to environmental influences,” said Rachel Carmody, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology and principal investigator of the department’s Nutritional and Microbial Ecology Lab.¹

Everyone is born with a different composition of gut bacteria, and as we as age it is most directly affected by what we eat.

The most important takeaway from this article is that we are able to change the makeup of our gut microbiome significantly with our diet. 

In addition to having a balanced diet, taking probiotics daily can help supplement the good bacteria in your gut. Having more healthy bacteria in your gut promotes normal digestive function. With more good bacteria competing for space and nutrients in your gut, the bad bacteria don't have much of a chance to survive and do damage. 

“In some ways, it’s great news that the gut microbiome is so sensitive to environmental conditions, as this means we can manipulate it more easily to improve human health,” says Carmody. 

Carmody also goes on to explain the significant impact gut health has on our overall health and wellness. The gut microbiome - this "internal environment has been linked to a range of human diseases,” she said, including metabolic diseases like atherosclerosis and Type 2 diabetes, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and autoimmune disorders.

Incorporating probiotics into our diet could definitely serve as both a preventative measure against the above diseases and a supplement for the "gut issues" we are born with. 

Sources
1. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2021/03/new-study-shows-that-diet-has-major-impact-on-gut-biomes/