Giant pandas stay chubby and healthy on a diet consisting solely of bamboo shoots, leaves and stems. A new study shows butyrate synthesized by the panda’s gut microbiota during shoot-eating season increases circulating phospholipids, fat storage and body weight through synchronized expression of the circadian gene Per2 in the liver. The findings provide insights on the link between the gut microbiome and fat metabolism, providing new avenues to improving body weight and fitness.
Findings from a new clinical trial paints a nuanced picture of the influence of diet on gut microbes and immune status. The scientists compared two microbiota-targeted dietary interventions, plant-based fiber and fermented foods, and showed that fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, fermented cottage cheese, kimchi, fermented vegetables, vegetable brine drinks, and kombucha increase gut microbial diversity and decrease systemic markers of inflammation, in contrast to a high-fiber diet rich in legumes, seeds, whole grains, nuts, vegetables, and fruits that maintains a stable microbial diversity and immune profile. The authors noted that fermented foods may be valuable in countering the decreased microbiome diversity and increased inflammation pervasive in industrialized urban society.
A collaborative study by scientists in Switzerland and Norway, has discovered a new mechanism for regulating RNA maturation that depends on nutrients in the diet. Underscoring the crucial role of the environment in RNA methylation and the control of the splicing machinery, the researchers showed when nutrients are abundant, the mRNA of a methyl-donor synthesizing gene is methylated, gene splicing is blocked, and the level of methyl donors decreases, in a feedback loop.
Making sure your plant-based diet consists of leafy greens and whole grains and not refined grains, potatoes and sugar, matters in estimating risk for stroke. A healthy plant-based diet is associated with a 10% reduction in risk for stroke, a new study reports.