Good news people, a recent study is claiming that both coffee and wine can do wonderful things for your gut. The study was published in the journal Science and looked into factors that that have to do with the diversity of people’s microbial community.
To perform this study the researchers analyzed the stool samples of 1,135 Dutch participants, and found that wine, coffee, tea, and yogurt were all great foods for increasing the diversity of microbial levels in the gut.
One thing that they found that decreased the amount of microbes in the gut, was drinking sugary sodas. (As if we didn’t already know that too much sugar was bad for us.) They also found that smoking while pregnant was a good way to reduce the microbes in the gut, which is another thing that it so obviously not a good idea anyway.
Jingyuan Fu, who is an associate professor at the University of Groningen and was also one of the authors of the study said:
“To our knowledge, this is the first study to systematically assess such a broad range of host and environmental factors in relation to gut microbiome and at such a large scale.”
Prior research has found that taking antibiotics can also greatly cut down on the microbial diversity of the gut, which is one of the reason why they suggest taking probiotics to repopulate things with good bacteria after taking a course. (Or sometimes during a course.)
Some studies have even suggested that taking antibiotics can mess with the intestinal flora for up to an entire year, that’s how much of an affect they can have on the body. Two different studies that took place in the United Kingdom and Sweden looked to see how different antibiotics would affect both the oral and gut microbiomes. To do this they analyzed their saliva and feces before they started the antibiotics treatments, and then did it again when they were through with their prescribed courses. (Which varied.)
The results were different depending on which antibiotic they were taking, but in most of the cases the oral microbiomes bounced back quickly but the gut ones did not. They also mentioned that “both study populations carried antibiotic-resistance genes in their oral and gut microbiomes” before the study started, but that there were more antibiotic-resistant genes in both areas of the body following taking antibiotics.
This of course is a concern for the individual in treating things that need antibiotics but also for the population at large. We need our antibiotics to be effective, otherwise of course things become harder and harder to treat.
So in addition to popping a probiotic regularly, the best thing that you can do to keep your gut healthy is to feed it the foods that it likes and skip the ones that it doesn’t. Cut the sugar, but rest assured knowing that your coffee and wine drinking habits are not harming you as far as your microbes are concerned.