Immigrants' diverse gut bacteria changes once they move to U.S.

A study has found that the diverse microbes present in the body has the ability to evolve due to changes in diet.

    2018/11/06

NSFW    U.S. — Geographical location impacts the diversity of microbes present in a person's body, with some places corresponding to much more microbe diversity than others, according to a study published in the journal Cell.

The study found that immigrants tend to eat a more Westernized diet, rich in sugar, fats and protein after arriving in the U.S., resulting in a 15 percent loss of microbiome diversity.

The dominant species of the gut bacteria changed from a bacteria called "Prevotella" to a bacteria called "Bacteroides," which is commonly found in Western microbes.

The "Prevotella" bacteria helps in digesting fibrous foods commonly found in Asia.

As microbiome diversity in the body decreases, the risk of obesity and diabetes increases.

The study was conducted with the Hmong and Karen community from Southeast Asia and found that first and second generation U.S. immigrants had an additional drop of 5-10 percent of gut bacteria, and ended up with similar gut bacteria to those whose families have a longer history in the U.S.
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