University of Illinois Researchers Study the Effects of Diet on the Human Gut

In *All, Nutrition & Health by AgIsAmerica

Researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign are studying the role diet plays in development of children’s microbiota composition.  The research was focused on 4 to 8-year-old children and has discovered which microbes reside in the microbiota composition and the functions they serve in human health.

While the microbiota refers to the micro-organisms and viruses associated with the human gastrointestinal tract, the microbiome refers to the genetic make-up of the whole of the microbiota and lives in the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Parents of the children involved in the study reported their children’s usual food and drink intake and their microbiota composition was determined from fecal samples collected throughout a 6-month period. Findings from the research show that there is distinct microbiota composition based the child’s dietary patterns. A better understanding of how dietary patterns impact the microbiome could help in developing nutrition-based therapies for microbiota-related diseases. This research took a unique approach in looking at dietary patterns in children and provides insight to the types of foods and the nutrient composition of those foods to help researchers understand more about how diet can help improve health and wellness of children. 

To learn more about this study from the University of Illinois, read more here.

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