[Sciencedaily] Lifelong effects of diet in children


A new study in mice shows that eating too much fat and sugar at an early age can alter your microbiome, even as you learn to eat healthier later in life.

The study by UC Riverside researchers is one of the first to show a significant decrease in the total and diversity of gut bacteria in adult mice fed a non-dairy diet. healthy at a young age.

UCR physiologist Theodore Garland explains: “We studied rats, but the effect we observed was comparable to that of children on a Western diet, high in fat, sugar and microflora. Their gut flora remains affected up to six years after puberty.”

A research paper was recently published in the Journal Journal of Experimental Biology .

Microbial refers to all bacteria as well as fungi, parasites and viruses that live within and within a person or animal. Most of these microorganisms are found in the gut, and most of them are useful, they will stimulate the immune system, break down food and help synthesize important vitamins.

In a healthy body, there is a balance of organismspathogenic and beneficial. However, if the balance is disturbed, either due to antibiotic use, illness, or an unhealthy diet, the body can become susceptible to illness.

In this study, Garland’s team investigated what factors affect the microbiome after dividing their mice into four groups: half fed a standard healthy diet, half fed a regular diet. Less healthy eating is the Western diet, half eating joggers for exercise, and half not.

After three weeks of these diets, all mice were returned to the standard diet and did not exercise, which is the usual way mice are raised in the laboratory. After 14 weeks, the team examined the diversity and abundance of bacteria in the animals.

They found that the numbers of bacteria such as the intestinal muribaculum were significantly reduced in the Western diet group. This bacterium is involved in carbohydrate metabolism.

The analysis also showed that the gut bacteria were sensitive to the amount of exercise in the rats. Muribaculum bacteria increased in mice fed a standard diet with access to a running wheel and decreased in mice on a high-fat diet whether they exercised or not. .

The researchers believe that the species of this bacterium, and the family of bacteria to which it belongs, may affect the amount of energy available to its host. Research continues to explore other functions this bacterium may have.

Another effect to note is that the increase in bacterial species is very similar and was increased after five weeks of treadmill training in a study by other researchers, showing that exercise alone may increase its presence.

Overall, the UCR researchers found that an early Western diet had more long-term effects on the microbiome than early exercise.

Garland’s team wanted to repeat this experiment and sample at additional time points, to better understand when changes in the rat’s microbiome first appeared and whether they persisted into later stages. later life or not.

Regardless of when the effects first appeared, however, the researchers say it was remarkable that they were observed long after the dietary change and then changed again.

The lesson learned, says Garland, is essentially: “You are not just what you are eating, but what you ate as a child!”

The source:

Materials provided by University of California – Riverside. Original written by Jules Bernstein. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Monica P. McNamara, Jennifer M. Singleton, Marcell D. Cadney, Paul M. Ruegger, James Borneman, Theodore Garland. Early-life effects of juvenile Western diet and exercise on adult gut microbiome composition in mice. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 2021; jeb.239699 DOI:

Self-translated article, please do not reup!

Translator: Khanh Quynh

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