The authors of a new study published in Science Translational Medicine on Wednesday concluded that high-sugar diets are harmful to gut health and may increase the risk of colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, studied the effects of dietary sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose) on mice for 7 days.
Before feeding the animals a solution containing 10% dietary sugar in water, the researchers used “gene sequencing technology to identify the types and prevalence of bacteria found in the large intestine.” They repeated this step 7 days after feeding the mice a sugar-containing solution.
In the end, the researchers found that, according to a genetic press release, the researchers found that whether it is a mouse genetically susceptible to colitis or a mouse that receives chemical drugs to induce the disease, “If you take sugar first, it will appear. More severe symptoms”. Find.
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The researchers said that, more specifically, after seven days, the rats were fed sucrose, fructose and “especially glucose”, “showing a significant change in the number of microorganisms in the intestine.” The researchers also noticed that the rats were fed high sugar. After eating, the mucus layer that protects the inner wall of the large intestine is thinning.
According to the press release, “Bacteria known to produce mucus-degrading enzymes, such as Akkermansia, are more numerous, while other types of bacteria that are considered good bacteria and often found in the intestine, such as Lactobacillus Not so rich anymore,”.
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Although this study only studied the effects of sugar on mouse gut health, this study “clearly shows that you really have to pay attention to food.” Dr. Hasan Zaki, who led this work The statement stated that this is especially true in Western countries, because the diets of these countries are usually high in fat, sugar and animal protein. Researchers pointed out that in Western countries, the prevalence of colitis is also higher, which may lead to “persistent diarrhea, abdominal pain and rectal bleeding.”
Indeed: As of 2015, according to federal health data, it is estimated that 1.3% of American adults (about 3 million people) have been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease, an increase from 0.9% or 2 million adults in 1999.
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Zaki added: “Colitis is a major public health problem in the United States and other Western countries.” “From a public health perspective, this is very important.”