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Why gardeners should NOT leave cakes and chips on bird tables

Why gardeners should NOT leave cakes and chips on bird tables: the & # 39; junk food & # 39; prevents sparrows from absorbing nutrients from their natural diet of seeds and mealworms, says a study

  • Study sparrows fed from rural and urban areas, whether on a natural or human diet
  • The birds found that live on a high-fat western diet had very different microbiomes
  • They had a lower diversity of useful bacteria in their intestines to help digest food.
  • This prevents birds from extracting nutrition from the natural diet of worms from flour and seeds.
  • The lower diversity of microbiomes is also linked to the inability to fight disease.

Birds eat fast human food in towns and cities and are damaging their interior and preventing them from absorbing nutrients from their natural diet.

It was discovered that intestinal bacteria, or microbiota, in sparrows were altered by processed foods, such as cakes and chips that were hooked on bird tables of well-intentioned twitchers.

This high fat diet, similar to the so-called & # 39; western diet & # 39; in humans, it is altering the friendly bacteria in their stomachs and making it less diverse.

Experts say that this lack of diversity in bacteria could lead to malnutrition, as well as a diminished ability to fight disease and adapt to climate change.

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It was discovered that the sparrow's microbiota was altered by processed foods, such as cakes and chips that were hooked by birds that lived in urban areas. This high fat diet, similar to the so-called & # 39; western diet & # 39; in humans, it is altering friendly bacteria and making it less diverse (archive photo)

TOP SIX BRITISH BIRDS PER NUMBER

1. Wren (11 million pairs)

2. Robin (7.35 million pairs)

3. Sparrow (5.3 million pairs)

4. wood pigeon (5.15 million pairs)

5. Finch (5.05 million territories)

5. Blackbird (5.05 million territories)

The findings, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological SciencesIt also has potential implications for all species that live in urbanized areas.

One study fed 114 house sparrows in southwestern France varied foods to see how they adapted to rural and urban diets.

The birds were captured in six different places, three so-called rural and three considered urban.

Samples of your intestinal bacteria were collected with a syringe before being sent to the Station of Theoretical and Experimental Ecology in Moulis, France.

The researchers found that the natural rural diet caused an increase in microbiota diversity, while the urban diet led to reductions.

It was discovered that rural birds fed an urban diet were the most affected.

The lead author, Dr. Aimeric Teyssier, an ecologist at the University of Ghent, Belgium, said that the diversity of intestinal microbiota is essential for the fitness of all species, including birds.

But so far, there has not been much research on how these small bacteria interact and affect birds.

The intestinal bacteria, or microbiota, of birds has a great impact on whether their offspring will survive their first three months. Less diversity reduces the ability to digest nutrients and fight disease. It is also potentially essential to cope with climate change (stock)

What is a microbiome?

Researchers now estimate that a typical human body is made up of approximately 30 billion human cells and 39 billion bacteria.

All mammals and most animals have some form of mycorbioma.

Friendly bacteria fulfill key functions that bodies cannot do on their own.

Interest and knowledge about the microbiota has recently exploded as researchers recognize how essential they are for overall health.

A healthy and balanced microbiome helps break down food, protects against infections, trains the immune system and makes vitamins, such as K and B12.

It also sends signals to the brain that can affect mood, anxiety and appetite.

Bowel imbalances are increasingly linked to a variety of conditions.

In 2018, scientists at the California Institute of Technology found the first link between the intestine and Parkinson's symptoms in humans,

The composition of the microbiota is determined in part by genetics, but it can also be influenced by lifestyle factors such as diet.

For the next six weeks, the sparrows were kept in small groups of the same capture site in identical cages equipped with resting boxes and bamboo plants to perch.

Then, individuals were randomly assigned to an & # 39; urban diet & # 39; which included bread, cakes and chips or an alternative & # 39; rural & # 39; of corn, wheat, sunflower seeds and worms.

Dr. Teyssier said: "In general, the rural diet caused an increase in microbiota diversity, while the urban diet led to reductions, and the strongest decline impacted rural birds fed an urban diet."

"Our study suggests that westernization of human diets can also have negative impacts on urban animals," he adds.

The intestinal bacteria, or microbiota, of birds has a great impact on whether their offspring will survive their first three months.

Until now, there has not been much research on how these small bacteria interact and affect birds.

Less diversity reduces the ability to digest nutrients and fight disease. It is also potentially essential to cope with climate change.

"In general, our results indicate that diet is an important factor that contributes to differences in the intestinal microbiota and provides new insights into the possible consequences of reducing diversity in urban settings," adds Dr. Teyssier.

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