They’ve demolished another slice of nutrition dogma: the glycemic index of foods. We knew that diet affected the microbiome, we knew that the microbiome is important for immune and nutrient status but we did not know how key it is for determining the rate of glycemic response for all foods. This Video Abstract is by an Israeli team, with the paper published in Cell.

In their study of 800 people they found that those eating the same foods with the same GI scores had very different glucose responses. Some of the variation could be explained but there was a gap. It was the effect of the gut microbiome. The variable microbial profiles determined how quickly the food was broken down and the rate at which glucose appeared in the blood – it was a much stronger effect that the type of carb being eaten.

As Professor Tim Spector of King’s College has commented, “Some people could eat potatoes without any surge in blood sugar and others with the wrong set of microbes just had to look at one and their blood levels peaked. Unlike our genes, our microbes are to some extent changeable. The team went on to successfully modify the diets of the subjects with the worst looking profiles.”

Click here to access the video:

Article by Dr Susan McGinty