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'Mediterranean diet improves gut microbe diversity, cuts hospitalisation'

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

A Mediterranean-style diet, rich in vegetables and fermented products such as yoghurt, is associated with a greater gut microbial diversity and a lower risk of hospitalisation in patients with liver cirrhosis, a study claims.

The study by researchers at in the US enrolled almost 300 individuals in the US and

It showed that the entire Turkish cohort, including healthy individuals as well as those with cirrhosis, had a significantly higher microbial diversity than their counterparts in the US.

Liver is a major, growing and largely preventable cause of death worldwide, accounting for more than one million deaths globally per year, researchers said.

The risk of death from liver differs markedly between countries, driven primarily by alcohol consumption, the type and quality of alcohol consumed, and the presence of and

Gut microbiota have been implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of cirrhosis, and a progressive decrease in microbial diversity is observed in healthy individuals, those with compensated cirrhosis, and those with

Patients with compensated do not have symptoms related to the disease, whereas those with have symptomatic complications

"Diet is a major determinant of gut microbial composition, but there is very little information currently linking diet, microbial diversity and clinical outcomes in patients with cirrhosis', said Jasmohan from and

"Our hypothesis for this study was that diet and the severity of cirrhosis might interact to determine microbiota composition and, ultimately, clinical outcomes in patients with liver cirrhosis," said

The study recruited three groups of individuals in the US and Turkey: healthy controls, outpatients with compensated cirrhosis, and outpatients with

All individuals underwent dietary and stool microbiota analysis and those with were followed for at least 90 days to capture data on non-elective hospitalisations.

The US population tended to follow a Western diet with a relatively low consumption of fermented foods (yoghurt, ayran, curds) and a high consumption of coffee and carbonated drinks, while the Turkish cohort consumed a Mediterranean-style diet that was rich in fermented foods and vegetables.

Stool sample analysis revealed that the entire Turkish cohort had a significantly greater diversity in their gut microbiota than the US cohort and that there was no difference in diversity between healthy controls and those with in

In contrast, in the US cohort, diversity was highest in the control group and lowest amongst those with

Coffee, tea, vegetables, chocolate, and fermented intake predicted a higher diversity, while the Model for (MELD) score, lactulose use and carbonated drink consumption predicted a lower microbial diversity.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 13 2018. 13:35 IST