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A fermented-food diet increases microbiome diversity and lowers inflammation, Stanford study finds

Jul 12 2021
Faculty, Fellow, Research, Stanford

A diet rich in fermented foods enhances the diversity of gut microbes and decreases molecular signs of inflammation, according to researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine.

In a clinical trial, 36 healthy adults were randomly assigned to a 10-week diet that included either fermented or high-fiber foods. The two diets resulted in different effects on the gut microbiome and the immune system.

Eating foods such as yogurt, kefir, fermented cottage cheese, kimchi and other fermented vegetables, vegetable brine drinks, and kombucha tea led to an increase in overall microbial diversity, with stronger effects from larger servings. “This is a stunning finding,” said Justin Sonnenburg, PhD, an associate professor of microbiology and immunology. “It provides one of the first examples of how a simple change in diet can reproducibly remodel the microbiota across a cohort of healthy adults.”

Co-author, Hannah Wastyk, is a 2017 EDGE Fellow. Study researchers, Dylan Dahan, is a 2017 SGF Fellow and Carlos Gonzalez, is a 2018 EDGE Fellow.

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