23 Sep 2021 World leisure: news, training & property
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Health Club Management
2021 issue 6

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Leisure Management - Feel it in your gut


Feel it in your gut

If you’re involved in advising your customers on how they can optimise their diet for health, research from King’s College London will give powerful guidance

Good gut microbes develop when people eat a wholefood diet and correlate with positive health markers el-Shot/shutterstock

A recent study, published in Nature Medicine, monitored the gut microbiome composition, diet and cardiometabolic blood markers of 1,100 participants from the US and UK, making it the world’s largest research project investigating individual responses to food.

The key finding was the identification of 15 ‘good’ and 15 ‘bad’ naturally-occurring gut microbes that correlate with key markers of health status in a positive or negative fashion, including inflammation, blood pressure, blood sugar control and weight.

Whole and unprocessed
Results showed diets fuelled by fibre-rich, whole and unprocessed food support the growth of good microbes, while diets containing a higher concentration of processed foods with added sugar and salt, promote the bad gut bacteria that are associated with illnesses.

This indicates we have control over our gut microbiome and can positively impact our future health outcomes by changing what we eat, explains Dr Sarah Berry, study co-author and epidemiologist at King’s College London.

Control over health
“Surprisingly, findings also suggested that, due to the personalised nature of the microbiome, a personalised approach to what you eat for your unique biology is the best way to positively impact your health,” she adds.

“I’m excited to share this research, says Berry, “as our findings show how little of the microbiome is pre-determined by genes and, therefore, how much is modifiable by diet, how we may be able to improve it by diet and how this may impact our subsequent health.”

Berry told HCM there are many determinants when it comes to how we respond to food, in addition to our microbiome, including what we eat, how we eat, time of day, sleep, exercise and our genetics.

“Therefore, microbiome testing alongside the measurement of other determinants of our responses to food will enable a truly personalised approach to nutrition in future,” she concludes.

• Find out more: www.HCMmag.com/microbiome

Originally published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 6

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