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Dear Dave [Form Letter]

Thank you for taking part in the British Gut project.  Your contribution has been invaluable and helped make British Gut the biggest microbiome citizen science project in the UK. We could not have done it without your microbes!

We are very proud to announce that together with our partners in the US, American Gut, we have published the first major results arising from the analysis of the samples you have generously provided to the project. 

[I didn't but let's assume I did]

The study has shown that gut samples from the the UK participants showed a higher microbial diversity than our US counterparts. High microbial diversity is considered a marker of good health. Well done everybody!

The study has also shown that  those of you who regularly consume more than 30 types of plants have a higher number of different types of microbes living in your gut, even higher than those of you that self reported as vegan or vegetarians. Also high plant consumption was associated with fewer antibiotic resistant genes in your guts. This may mean that regular plant eaters eat less meat and have less antibiotics from animal feed. 

You may also like to know that higher microbiome diversity results were associated with drinking wine but not other alcohol such as beer or spirits. 

 You can read the full press release here 

We are looking to expand British Gut and use new technologies to get a more detailed analysis of the microbes and we will be sharing our findings you.

In the meantime you may be interested in our latest exciting project involving personalising nutrition advice using gut microbes. See below for details.  


Kind regards,

Prof. Tim Spector 

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More than 30 types of plants?

How do you go?

[In brackets: weighted frequency estimate ]

Potato(3), corn(1), wheat(3), rye(6), rice (1), sunflower seeds(6), almonds(6), walnuts(6), coconut(6), cabbage(2), tomatoes(5), zucchini(2), pumpkin(1), sweet potato(1), carrots(2), celery(2), peppers(1), mushrooms(1), radishes(1), peas(1), onions(7), garlic(6), ginger(1), turmeric(7), cucumbers(1), parsley(2), coriander(1), beans(3), paw paw(1), mandarin(2), spinach(es)(2), thyme(3), celery(4), oregano(3), mulberry(1), dragon fruit(1), choko(1), olives(1), salad greens(various x 3)(2), rosemary(1)...

I'd guess that unless you are growing plants in a kitchen garden it would be hard to register those numbers. Similarly without preserving some veg, it would be hard to cover the bases. Doing over 30 every week is a big ask.

All I can say is thank goodness there is wine...

There are ways and means...and i see where I left off tea, coffee and chocolate from my list. Plants all.

Here's a list of to dos:LINK.

I'd also add this instead of eating dirt.:

  • Wash hands with soap and water instead of sanitizing
  • Live on a farm, or at least have a dog or two; this seems especially beneficial for children if started when they are babies

Needless to say,  working in the garden is a real plus in regard to encouraging greater gut microbial diversity.

Generally though, as well as a fermented foods sort-of-guy, I'm seriously into Resistant Starch. And that is another story....

I appreciate Tim Spector's work because there is so much hype about the gut, and his arguments are more measured. Here's his POV  worth watching(note the garden analogy) :

That man speaks so close to the truth, it is his way of thinking that I can relate to.  Gone are the days of eating garbage food, I have turned the corner.  My gut will no longer be the Arizona desert but turn into the garden of Eden, hopefully.

Thanks for sharing that info, my only worry is a belly full of gas.

Look upon it not as a belly full of gas, but as an alternative source of renewable energy.

But stay away from yoga class.

I'm quite happy to know that wine can improve my gut microbial diversity.  I wish they could have been more specific, a dry white or aged shiraz?

Kids, that ate dirt when young, were maybe better off.

You don't have to be young to eat dirt. Go for it!

Geophagia is its own menu.

Alternatively, you can arrange a fecal transplant.

Simple procedure, but from what I've read, you need to be careful when selecting a donor as you may take on their personality traits.

But if you are up to it it is something you can do on a weekend.

Later on what a story you can share.

Daughter had a feacal transplant done as part of the medical plan for her chrons - she is a vegan also part of the medical plan and while the first was not a success the veganism seems to have been her saviour - only one episode in the two years since she started the vegan track where as it used to be average one a month ! but yes i would think she would consume  at least 30 types of plants - especially fresh herbs each week - a very expensive diet for an apartment dweller in Perth city ! 

They where talking about this on 4bc radio  a few weeks ago that they are paying people each week  to donate for research  but need to find the right people and that they are getting some interesting results and some chronic conditions can be caused by these gut microbial  but would need to get rid of the unwanted  .

Interesting report Dave, hope they are wrong about the beer lol. Perhaps they can do another test on that. Disregarding my bad jokes though us home growers wouldn't be doing too bad against the rest without realising the stuff lots of us would be pulling out of the garden

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