Vegan diet promotes healthy gut microbiome
A current study examined the effects of a vegan diet on the composition of the gut microbiome and body weight. Positive changes were already apparent after a few weeks. You can find out more about this in our blog post.
Why is the intestinal microbiome so important?
The entirety of all microorganisms in the intestine is called intestinal flora, intestinal flora or intestinal / Intestinal microbiome. Over 1,000 different types of bacteria can be found in our intestines. They not only ensure a functioning digestion, but also influence our immune system. Among other things, they are also assigned a role in the development of various diseases, obesity or allergies. You can read more about the importance of the intestinal flora for our health here .
Vegan diet has a beneficial effect on the intestinal flora and body weight
In September, a study was published in the specialist magazine Diabetologia which shows that a vegan diet has a positive effect on our intestinal microbiome. 147 overweight subjects (86% women, 14% men) took part in the study, the average age was 55.6 years.
The study results
Participants who looked at each other over a period of time Eating vegan for 16 weeks could promote the growth of certain intestinal bacteria. For example, the relative frequency of the two intestinal bacteria Faecalibacterium prausnitzii (+ 4.8%) and Bacteoides fragilis (+ 19.5%) increased. Both microorganisms are bacteria, the short-chain fatty acids (e.g. butyrate). These fatty acids have numerous health-promoting properties.
Both Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Bacteoides fragilis are associated with reduced body weight and body fat percentage as well as improved insulin sensitivity . In fact, the study participants were able to reduce their body weight and their body fat percentage in the 16 weeks. In contrast to the placebo group, which did not change their eating habits, the vegan group lost significantly more body weight (-5.8 kg). Your body fat percentage was reduced by an average of 3.9 kg.
A plant-based diet improves insulin sensitivity
In addition, the plant-based diet also improved insulin sensitivity. This indicates how sensitive our body reacts to the hormone insulin. If the insulin sensitivity is high, even small amounts of the hormone are enough to have an effect. The lower the insulin sensitivity, the larger the amount required. This can lead to diabetes over time. So you can prevent this disease with a plant-based diet. Studies also show that the plant-based diet is also effective in treating diabetes. In a further study, the study group would now like to find out how a vegan diet changes the intestinal microbiome of type 2 diabetes patients.
Conclusion of the study
Faecalibacterium prausnitzii , Bacteoides fragilis also feeds of fiber. The high fiber content of the plant-based diet is therefore responsible for the health-promoting changes in the intestinal flora observed in the study.
So feed your intestinal bacteria as often as possible with fiber-rich, plant-based foods n (e.g. fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grain products). If you are on a vegan diet, you should not forget vitamin B12 supplementation (e.g. in the form of vitamin B12 lozenges or the Vegan Essentials ).
Why are vegans leaner than meat eaters?
That a plant-based diet is associated with lower body weight is not new. On the one hand, this is of course due to the lower calorie intake. But other factors also mean that vegans are leaner than meat eaters. For example, older studies showed that people who eat a plant-based diet have an 11% higher basal metabolic rate.