Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh, The Loh Down on Science is a fun way to get your daily dose of science plus a dash of humor in less than two minutes.
Hosted by Sandra Tsing Loh
Airs Weekdays 2:43 and 3:43 a.m.

Diversity Comes From Within

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Variety is the spice of life - especially in your tummy!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

A diverse diet is a healthy diet! But what about the health of the bacteria in our gut?  

At Rutgers University, Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello studies lifestyle and gut health.  She wondered: What would happen if urban-dwelling folks lived and ate as tropical hunter-gatherers? 

A sixteen-day trip to an indigenous village in Venezuela was used as a test kitchen!

The visitors ate just as the locals do: wild fruits, yucca, fish, and a few bites of game meat.  They also followed local hygienic practices: no soap, toothpaste, or chlorinated water. 

Throughout their stay, the visitors’ hands, mouths, noses, and feces were swabbed for bacterial content. 

Did this drastic change affect their gut bacteria?  The answer was – yes, for the youngsters!  Interestingly, children aged seven and under showed far more diversification of their gut bacteria than the adults.  Overall, this suggests the importance of a diverse diet at a young age.

But hey, baby steps! Like the mango in my sangria - that counts... right?