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What can you do to get healthy gut bacteria?

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Start by eating a nutritious diet high in fiber-rich foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. A Western diet high in fat and sugar and low in fiber can kill certain types of gut bacteria, making your microbiota -- trillions of bacteria that live in your body -- less diverse. Exercise can also encourage the growth of a variety of gut bacteria. Having a more varied gut microbiota may promote better health and, in turn, reduce your risk of disease.

SOURCES:

Eamonn Quigley, MD, chief of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology, Houston Methodist Hospital.

Quigley, E. Gastroenterology & Hepatology, September 2013.

Baron, S. Medical Microbiology, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, 1996.

Singh, V. Cell Metabolism, December 2015.

Sartor, R. American Journal of Gastroenterology Supplements, 2012.

Burns, M. Genome Medicine, June 2015.

Mayer, E. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, July 2011.

Carabotti, M. Annals of Gastroenterology, April-June 2015.

Scher, J. Elife, November 2013.

Sonnenburg, E. Nature, January 2016.

Clarke, S. Gut, June 2014.

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on May 28, 2020

SOURCES:

Eamonn Quigley, MD, chief of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology, Houston Methodist Hospital.

Quigley, E. Gastroenterology & Hepatology, September 2013.

Baron, S. Medical Microbiology, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, 1996.

Singh, V. Cell Metabolism, December 2015.

Sartor, R. American Journal of Gastroenterology Supplements, 2012.

Burns, M. Genome Medicine, June 2015.

Mayer, E. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, July 2011.

Carabotti, M. Annals of Gastroenterology, April-June 2015.

Scher, J. Elife, November 2013.

Sonnenburg, E. Nature, January 2016.

Clarke, S. Gut, June 2014.

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on May 28, 2020

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