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Digital Subscriptions > iScot Magazine > March/April 2019 > Under the Microscope

Under the Microscope

The Value of Vegan Poo!

Vegans could be sitting on a goldmine, according to Plant- Based News, where one article suggests that faecal transplants from vegans could be the answer to the growing problem of antibioticresistant bacterial infections. Miranda Larbi writes that since vegans eat a varied diet of fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds, many of which are prebiotic and probiotic, the gut biome of vegans will consist of a wider range of ‘good’ bacterial species, in comparison with carnivorous humans.

Larbi says “when it comes to fighting off superbugs…vegan poo might be superior to someone who lives off the ‘meat and two veg’ principal because … its all about diversity”. She adds that since vegans consume much more than the ‘five portions of fruit and veg’ each day, and include nuts, seeds, nutritional yeasts and other healthgiving non-animal foods in their daily diet, “then your gut bacteria is going to be wild” We know that the gut biome – that mix of bacterial species in our bowel - have many roles to play in the health or otherwise of the human host, including secretion of signalling molecules which travel to our brains and help regulate our tastes, cravings and appetites for specific foods, mediating sensations like pain, and playing a role in regulating the immune system. Each one of us has a unique balance of gut bacterial species. The influence of our gut bacteria and the signalling chemicals which they produce and regulate, on our physiology and our behaviour is so great that the gut is known as the ‘second brain’.

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