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'Microbiome' Needs Coffee, Wine: Here's How Gut Health Can Improve

Update Date: May 02, 2016 06:00 AM EDT

Drinking a cup of coffee or a glass of wine may help in improving good bacteria in the gut, claims a new study. According to the study conducted by researchers from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, consumption of coffee, tea, wine and yogurt help in improving microbial diversity in the gut.

On the other hand, intake of a lot of carbohydrates, sugary drinks and whole milk reduces good bacteria in the gut. The gut microbiome refers to the community of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live in a person's digestive system. The microbes help in the processing of food and regulating the immune system. Maintaining a balance of good and bad microbes in the body is the key to good health.

It is believed that microbial community of a person influences mood disorders, obesity, and other diseases. For the purpose of the study, the research team analyzed the microbes inside the guts of more than 1,100 people from their frozen stools. In addition, the study collected information on the participants' diets, medicine use, and health. The researchers identified 126 factors linked to gut bacteria diversity. These factors included 60 related to diet, 19 linked with drugs, 12 associated with diseases and four linked to smoking.

"In total we found 60 dietary factors that influence diversity," said the first author of the study, Dr. Alexandra Zhernakova, a researcher at the University of Groningen, reported Medical Daily. "But there is good correlation between diversity and health: Greater diversity is better."

The research found that certain foods and beverages including fruits, vegetables, yogurt, buttermilk, tea, coffee and even wine positively influenced microbial diversity in the gut. While, sugary soda drinks, and snacks have an adverse effect on the gut bacterial diversity.

Besides, certain drugs like antibiotics and antacids as well as smoking and heart problems also have a negative influence on gut bacterial diversity. Interestingly, the study found that women have more microbial diversity than men, and elders have greater microbial diversity than youngsters.

"Disease often occurs as the result of many factors," Zhernakova said, according to HNGN. "Most of these factors, like your genes or your age, are not things you can change. But you can change the diversity of your microbiome through adapting your diet or medication. When we understand how this works, it will open up new possibilities." The findings were published in the journal Science on April 29.

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