Effects of Lacto-Vegetarian Diet on some Microflora Associated Characteristics: A Long Term Study

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Norin, K. Elisabeth ; Gustavsson, Jan-Åke ; Johansson, Gunnar ; Ottava, Ludmilla ; Midtvedt, Tore (2011)
  • Publisher: Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease
  • Journal: Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease (issn: 1651-2235)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/mehd.v10i2.7839

The consequence of a change from a mixed to a lacto-vegetarian diet for 12 months on some microflora associated characteristics (conversion of cholesterol, degradation of mucin and short chain fatty acid pattern) as well as some bacterial enzyme activities (β-glucuronidase, β-glucosidase and sulphatase) were studied in faecal samples from 20 healthy volunteers. Consumption of fruits, berries, vegetables, milk products, cereals and herbal tea increased during the lacto-vegetarian period, and the carbohydrate and fibre intake followed the same pattern. An opposite pattern, i.e. a decreased consumption during the lacto-vegetarian period was demonstrated for meat, fish, eggs, coffee, sweets and alcoholic beverages, and a similar pattern was seen for protein and fat intake. However, 3 years later, most of the volunteers reverted back to their previous consumption behaviour. Significant alterations were detected in functions related to compounds deriving from the diet (short chain fatty acid and bacterial enzyme activities) whereas functions mainly related to compounds deriving from the host itself (cholesterol and mucin) seemed to be stable.Keywords: lacto-vegetarian diet, normal microflora, flora function, microflora associated characteristics.
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