Roasted or raw? Cooking vegetables can promote bowel health – and uncooked can kill crucial bacteria, studies claim
- Different groups of mice and people were given a diet of raw food or cooked food
- The microbiomes between those who ate raw and cooked diets were & # 39; significant & # 39; different
- Researchers believed that this is because many raw foods contain antimicrobial compounds that damage or kill bacteria in our bodies
Roasting those carrots instead of eating them raw can drastically change your microbiome, a new study finds.
In research conducted on both mice and humans, scientists discovered that eating cooked food not only changed the bacteria in our bodies, but also whether the genes of these microbes were & # 39; to & # 39; or & # 39; from & # 39 ;.
Researchers say this is because eating cooked food can improve your gut health, while many raw foods contain substances that kill microorganisms, meaning that many of our gut bacteria are being destroyed.
The team, led by the University of California at San Francisco, says the findings help us understand which foods give us the most beneficial bacteria in our bodies and how our microbiomes evolved when early people learned how to cook food.
A new study from the University of California, San Francisco, discovered that various raw foods contain antimicrobial compounds that damage or kill bacteria in our bodies (file image)
& # 39; Our laboratory and others have investigated how different types of diet – such as vegetarian versus meat-based diets – affect the microbiome, & # 39; said senior author Dr. Peter Turnbaugh, associate professor of microbiology and immunology at UCSF.
& # 39; We were surprised to discover that no one had studied the fundamental question of how cooking itself changes the composition of microbial ecosystems in our gut. & # 39;
For the study, published in the journal Nature Microbiology, the team split mice into four groups.
The rodents were given one of four diets: raw meat, cooked meat, raw sweet potatoes or cooked sweet potatoes.
To their surprise, researchers discovered that there was no difference in the microbiomes of mice that ate raw meat versus cooked meat.
There was, however, a significant difference between the mice that ate raw sweet potatoes and cooked sweet potatoes.
Not only were the bacteria in their bodies different, but also whether certain genes were & # 39; to & # 39; or & # 39; from & # 39; and metabolic products – such as waste – were produced by the body.
When the team did the same experiment with an assortment of vegetables – including white potatoes, corn, peas, carrots and beets – they achieved the same results.
Researchers say one of the reasons for these changes is that various raw foods contain antimicrobial compounds that damage or kill bacteria in our bodies.
& # 39; We were surprised to see that the differences were not only due to the changing carbohydrate metabolism, but could also be driven by the chemicals found in plants, & # 39; said Dr. Turnbaugh.
& # 39; For me, this really underlines the importance of considering the other components of our diet and how they affect gut bacteria. & # 39;
UCSF researchers wanted to see if similar microbiome changes would occur in humans and worked with a professional chef to prepare raw and cooked menus.
The participants tried each diet for three days in random order and then provided stool samples.
The samples showed that the microbiomes of those who ate a raw diet versus a cooked diet were clearly different.
& # 39; It was exciting to see that the impact of cooking that we see in rodents is also relevant to humans, although interestingly, the details about how the microbiome was affected differed between the two species, & # 39; said Dr. Turnbaugh.
& # 39; We are very interested in doing larger and longer interventions and observational studies in humans to understand the impact of dietary changes in the longer term. & # 39;
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