Intermittent fasting and low-calorie diets support a variety of gut bacteria.

▲ Research has shown that intermittent fasting and calorie restriction help keep gut bacteria diverse. (Photo = DB)

(Medical Today = Reporter Han Ji Hyuk) Intermittent fasting and calorie restriction have been shown to help keep gut bacteria diverse.

A study published in the journal Nutrients found that intermittent fasting and low-calorie diets, which are typical weight loss methods, are good for gut bacterial diversity.

About 100 trillion normal microbes live in the human body in symbiosis with humans. Most of them are bacteria and most of them live in the stomach and intestines. Research into the impact of the gut microbiome on our health is still in its infancy, but it is clear that microbiome diversity is critical to many aspects of health.

To determine how to acquire and maintain this diversity in the gut microbiome, a team of researchers at the University of Colorado College of Medicine recently investigated the effects of intermittent fasting and calorie-restricted diets on the composition of the gut microbiome.

The study recruited overweight or obese participants who were assigned either to an “intermittent fasting group” in which they fasted three days in a row every week for one year, or to a “low-calorie diet group” in which they were given instruction to reduce calorie intake. total calorie intake by about 34%.

In an initial analysis conducted three months after the start of the study, participants in both groups showed significant improvements in gut microbiome diversity. This suggests that both intermittent fasting and the low-calorie diets that are commonly chosen for weight loss can help improve overall health.

These results support the hypothesis that changes in the gut microbiome occur during weight loss. The researchers explained that quantitative changes in the gut microbiome associated with metabolism and obesity, or changes at the genetic level, such as DNA methylation, may be related to the findings of this study.

On the other hand, they are concerned about the creation of an indiscriminate diet plan, warning that intermittent fasting or low-calorie diets may do more harm to pregnant or lactating women, people with chronic diseases, or people with a history of eating disorders.

They added that since there are different methods of dieting for weight loss, expert advice is needed to properly select foods and evaluate nutrient intake.

Medical Today reporter Han Ji Hyuk (

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