Strictly speaking, humans are composed of very few body cells in comparison with bacteria. Countless illnesses have now have now been associated with a change in gut flora composition. Nutritional scientists are therefore attempting to give dietary advice to prevent certain diseases. It is, however, too early to make such recommendations.
What is certain is that the consumption of animal-based foods leads to an increase in the bacteria that metabolise more bile acids. These bacteria are associated with chronic inflammatory bowel conditions. The consumption of plant-based foods helps butyrate-producing bacteria to multiply more rapidly. Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid that has a positive, anti-inflammatory effect on the intestinal mucosa.
The gut flora of vegetarians therefore predominantly metabolises carbohydrates, while the gut flora in people who consume animal-products draws more energy from proteins.
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