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Almond Consumption May Benefit Some Gut Microbiota Functionality, Study Finds  

Bhubaneswar : Scientific progress in understanding the human gut microbiome thrills experts in nutrition and gastrointestinal health. Researchers know that diet affects the gut microbiome in ways thatbenefit health and disease prevention, but they are still discovering the mechanisms of how this happens. New almond research may add another piece to the puzzle.A clinical study investigated how gut microbes break down almonds to produce butyrate, a specific microbiota product associated with several health benefits. Newresearch[1] found that consuming almonds significantly increases butyrate, a type of beneficial short-chain fatty acid (SCFA), in the colon.Butyrate, which is produced by microbes in the gut when they digest fiber, is the primary fuel source for colonocytes, the cells that line the colon, andmay play a role in multiple processes related to human health, includingimproving sleep quality and fighting inflammation, and has beenassociated with a lower risk of colon cancer[2],[3].Almond consumption also significantly increases stool output. Regular stool output is associated with a well-functioning gastrointestinal system.

 “Part of the way in which the gut microbiota impact human health is through the production of short-chain fatty acids, such as butyrate. These molecules act as a fuel source for cells in the colon, they regulate absorption of other nutrients in the gut, and they help balance the immune system,” explained Kevin Whelan, PhD, RD, Professor of Dietetics, King’s College London.

Commenting on this study, Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head – Dietetics, Max Healthcare, Delhi said, “A healthy gut is crucial for maintaining a good immune systemand overall wellbeing. Various factors can lead to imbalance in the gut which can result in the increase of bad bacteria in comparison to the good bacteria. This can have several harmful implications on one’s health. To maintain good gut health, it is important to be cognizant of the foods that we eat. The study indicates almond consumption may be a way to increase fiber which is suggestive of positive alterations to microbiota functionalitythereby having a potential to influence human health positively.

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