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Eating healthily during the week but bingeing on weekends is not OK for your gut

By Margaret Morris

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

A relatively healthy but complex community is living together peacefully, until an unruly mob of hooligans begins unsettling the community’s residents and disturbing the peace every weekend.

This scenario could be playing out in the human gut every time you go on a junk food binge. Yo-yoing between eating well during the week and bingeing on junk food over the weekend is likely to be just as bad for your gut health as a consistent diet of junk.

Our study, recently published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, examined the impact of yo-yo dieting on the gut microbiota (the mix of organisms) of rats. This was the first study to compare how continuous or irregular exposure to an unhealthy diet can impact the composition of the gut microbiota.

The findings were illuminating – but first, back to the microbiota.

Why microbiota matters

While the actual number of microbial cells has been the subject of recent debate, up to 100 trillion are thought to inhabit the human gut.

These cells influence metabolism, nutrition and immune function. Growing evidence shows they are also important for our...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.