Whole grains are proven to alter the gut microbiota and potentially improve liver health
Extensive research suggests that consuming whole wheat, rather than refined grains, should be considered a healthy choice due to the comparative positive metabolic results. One of the many reasons proposed why whole grains are more beneficial to human health is that their consumption results in a positive alteration of the gut microbiome, and this change is thought to be the mechanism of action why whole grains appear to improve fatty liver disease. non-alcoholic. , as evidenced by a recent clinical test published in the Nutrition Journal.
“Consumption of whole grains is associated with a lower risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and certain types of cancer in observational studies,” say the study’s authors. âAdditionally, consuming whole grains rather than refined grains has been suggested to prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The presence of many bioactive compounds helps eliminate whole grains including whole wheat germ in wheat grain which are rich sources of dietary fiber, polyphenols, B complex vitamins, betaine, choline and minerals.
Additional health benefits have also been attributed to fiber, the authors said. Fiber intake can affect the composition and functionality of the microbiota, such as an increase in Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains, which are not fully understood, however, it is known that these microbes can produce short chain fatty acids that can reach the liver, affecting organ function and metabolism.
During the 12-week, double-blind, controlled parallel trial, 37 men and women were given a diet rich in whole or refined grains. Changes in microbiota composition were recorded via RNA gene sequencing after the procedure, with secondary outcomes such as fecal microbiota composition, microbiota functionality, and stool consistency.
The study authors concluded that in overweight and obese middle-aged adults, the whole grain intervention increased the relative abundance of a number of bacteria in the Ruminococcaceae family and increased pathways. fermentation planned in relation to the intervention on refined wheat, which could be involved. in the changes in liver fat experienced by the whole grain group.
“In this study, we found a positive correlation between a change in the Ruminococcaceae_NK4A214 group and a change in liver fat in both intervention groups, although the RW intervention increased liver fat and decreased liver fat. abundance of Ruminococcaceae-UCG-010 and Ruminococcaceae_UCG-005 “, the authors wrote. Previous studies have linked liver fat to these two bacterial strains. Additionally, the whole grain group had increased concentrations of short-chain fatty acids in the colonic contents, based on the flourishing of strains that produce a handful of these short-chain fatty acids.
âIn conclusion, we demonstrated that a 12-week whole-grain wheat intervention of 98 grams / day increased the relative abundances of a number of bacterial taxa involved in carbohydrate degradation and SCFA production and predicted fermentation pathways, while a refined wheat intervention decreased the abundance of these bacteria or the predicted fermentation capacity, pointing to a less healthy gut microbiota phenotype. The difference in fiber intake during the WGW intervention versus the RW intervention likely resulted in differences in the predicted bacterial fermentation capacity. This may be one of the mechanisms underlying the significant increases in liver fat seen with the RW procedure.