It appears intuitive that cooked food and raw meals probably impact the gut microbiome in one of a kind methods. However, there were little to no studies on this subject matter — up to now. A new have a look at in mice and humans now confirms this belief.
Because cooking involves exposing meals to warmth, it tends to trade the diverse meals’ physical and chemical homes.
But do these changes exchange the sensitive microbial surroundings of the gut?
That is the query that researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, Harvard University, in Cambridge, MA, and other institutions recently set out to reply.
“Our lab and others have studied how one-of-a-kind styles of food regimen, inclusive of vegetarian as opposed to meat-based diets, impact the microbiome,” says the senior author of the new study, Peter Turnbaugh, Ph.D., a partner professor at the University of California, San Francisco.
“We have been surprised to find out that nobody had studied the essential query of the way cooking itself alters the composition of the microbial ecosystems in our guts,” he provides.
Cooked foods regulate a bacterial variety
In the new take a look at — the findings of which appear in Nature Microbiology — the researchers started by searching at how exceptional forms of cooked and raw meals would possibly affect the intestine microbiota of mice.
To do so, they fed mice a diet of both raw or cooked pork or raw or cooked sweet potato. The crew used these meals, especially, because preceding studies had proven that cooking alters their nutritional components and due to the fact each commonly characteristic in human diets.
First, the researchers found, quite, that raw meat and cooked meat did now not affect the mice’s intestine microbiota in obviously distinct approaches. However, there have been clear differences in how raw and cooked sweet potatoes affected the intestine surroundings in rodents.
Mice on an uncooked potato weight loss program had a poorer bacterial range within the intestine, as well as barely fewer micro organism, compared with baseline measurements. They additionally had a better share of Bacteroidetes bacteria, which play a key function within the degradation of glycans, a shape of sugar.
To verify those findings, the researchers done another series of experiments, in which they fed mice now not simply raw and cooked sweet potatoes, however also white potatoes, beets, carrots, corn, and peas — ingredients with numerous levels of starchiness and digestibility.
As before, the researchers discovered that cooked versus raw potatoes — of each variety — affected microbial range within the intestine in another way. The equal becomes now not genuine of the opposite foods.
This, the authors explain of their look at the paper, is in all likelihood because potatoes — not like the other meals in this experiment — have “a high amount of low digestibility starch,” a carbohydrate with residences that are transformed by using publicity to heat.
“We had been amazed to peer that the variations have been now not handiest because of changing carbohydrate metabolism, but also can be driven using the chemical compounds determined in flora,” notes Turnbaugh.
“To me, this honestly highlights the significance of considering the opposite components of our weight-reduction plan and the way they impact intestine micro organisms,” he adds.
The team also noticed that mice on the uncooked food diets lost weight, which regarded to indicate that the adjustments within the gut microbiome can be responsible. However, while the researchers transplanted intestine bacteria from mice fed uncooked diets to mice consuming normal chow, the latter virtually won fat.
This conundrum left the researchers at a loss, and they’re nevertheless searching for out what may additionally have brought about this surprising outcome.
Possible implications for human fitness
At the final level in their research, the investigators teamed up with an expert chef and recruited five wholesome girls and three healthful men elderly 24–40 who agreed to take part in the nutritional test.
The chef prepared comparably uncooked or cooked plant-based totally food, which the members attempted in random order for three days each. After three days at the uncooked or cooked food regimen, the participants submitted stool samples to the laboratory for analysis. Every player tried every food regimen.
Once extra, the researchers observed clear differences among populations of intestine bacteria following exposure to raw versus cooked ingredients. However, there had been diffused differences inside the changes that the researchers determined inside the human microbiota, compared with the mice microbiota.
In the future, the researchers intention to behavior also research with the intention to allow them to better recognize now not just how cooked food impacts gut micro organism, however additionally why there are variations among how cooked food affects people, in comparison with other mammals.