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Weekend Binge No Better than Regular Consumption of Junk Food, Study

Update Date: Jan 24, 2016 06:37 PM EST

If you follow a strict diet during the week and consume junk food on the weekend, then you may be undoing all the hard work you have put in for so many days. Switching between eating well and bingeing on the weekend is likely to be bad for your gut health, warned a new study.

A human gut comprises of up to 100 trillion microbial cells that affect the metabolism, immunity and nutrition. When the gut microbiota is disrupted, it has been associated with obesity, inflammatory bowel disease and gastrointestinal conditions. "The study was the first to compare how continuous or intermittent exposure to an unhealthy diet can impact the composition of the gut microbiota," said lead author Margaret Morris from the University of New South Wales in Australia in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. "The findings indicate that intermittent exposure to junk food three days a week is sufficient to extensively shift the gut microbiota towards the pattern seen in obese rats consuming the diet continuously," Morris added. "A reduction in the diversity of the gut's microbiota and a loss of some of the beneficial biota is clearly not a good thing for health," Morris stated, as reported by Times of India

The research team consisted of Professor Morris and colleagues from UNSW's School of Medical Sciences, in addition to UNSW's Schools of Psychology and Biological Sciences. They analyzed and compared the microbiota in rats after they were fed healthy meals and junk food for 4 days and 3 days respectively. The research was conducted for a period of 16 weeks. As per the findings of the study, the rats that were on a cycled diet were at least 18% heavier than those remained on a healthy diet, says Science Daily  

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