New research from TwinsUK, published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports last week suggests that including more dietary omega-3 fatty acids improves the diversity of bacteria found in our gut.
The study, carried out in 876 women from the TwinsUK cohort, looked at whether dietary intake of fatty acids affects the diversity of the gut microbiome. The authors found that the amount of omega-3 fatty acids correlates with improved bacterial diversity in the gut, and is specifically associated with “good” bacterial species. The effects of dietary omega-3 were also seen in metabolites produced by gut bacteria. Higher levels of beneficial compounds, including omega-3 itself as well as n-carbamyl glutamate (NCG) which has been linked to reduced gut inflammation in rats, were found in people with more omega-3 in their diets.
The findings suggest that we could improve our gut health through our diets and the team is now planning a new study to test whether giving omega-3 supplements might improve the diversity of gut bacteria in healthy volunteers.
The open access paper is available to read here.