Study Finds Vegan Gut Profile Has “Greater Abundance of Protective Species”

According to a new study published in the journal Nutrients, and e-published by the National Institute of Health, the “vegan gut profile appears to be unique in several characteristics, including a reduced abundance of pathobionts and a greater abundance of protective species.” The study also found that “Reduced levels of inflammation may be the key feature linking the vegan gut microbiota with protective health effects.”

According to the study’s abstract, “This review examines whether there is evidence that a strict vegan diet confers health advantages beyond that of a vegetarian diet or overall healthy eating.” They note that “few studies include vegan subjects as a distinct experimental group, yet when vegan diets are directly compared to vegetarian and omnivorous diets, a pattern of protective health benefits emerges.”

Researchers state that “The relatively recent inclusion of vegan diets in studies of gut microbiota and health allows us the opportunity to assess whether the vegan gut microbiota is distinct, and whether the health advantages characteristic of a vegan diet may be partially explained by the associated microbiota profile.”

They state that “The relationship between diet and the intestinal microbial profile appears to follow a continuum, with vegans displaying a gut microbiota most distinct from that of omnivores, but not always significantly different from that of vegetarians.”

With this in mind, it was found that “The vegan gut profile appears to be unique in several characteristics, including a reduced abundance of pathobionts and a greater abundance of protective species. Reduced levels of inflammation may be the key feature linking the vegan gut microbiota with protective health effects.”

Researchers conclude by noting that, although these results are promising. “it is still unclear whether a therapeutic vegan diet can be prescribed to alter the gut microflora for long-term health benefits.”

More information on this study can be found by clicking here.

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