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article imageAntibiotics counteract benefits of whole grain

By Tim Sandle     May 4, 2017 in Science
Copenhagen - Antibiotics can adversely affect the health properties of whole grain. This appears particularly so for women. According to a new study, experimental findings show the importance of controlling the use of antibiotics.
There are many reports which suggest people should eat a proportion of whole meal in their diets each day. This is due to positive health effects that stem from the nutrients (vitamins, minerals and fibers). Appropriate foods, called out by regulatory bodies like the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, include rye bread and oatmeal. As well as giving nutrients, the consumption of whole meal has been associated with some avoidance of diseases like cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
The reason for the beneficial health effects is thought to be due to the presence of lignans in the grain. These diphenolic compounds help to change the compassion of the human gut microbiome (the colony of organisms that reside in our intestines). Some bacteria can metabolize lignans and produce useful by-products, such as enterolignans. These chemicals are similar in nature to estrogen. Their presence may explain why enterolignans correlate with lower incidences of breast cancer in women.
A new study, from Aarhus University and The Danish Cancer Society, indicates that the longer-term use of antibiotics can counteract the positive effects of whole grain intake. This is through the antibiotics affecting the beneficial bacteria in the gut, so that the bacteria are unable to produce sufficient quantities of the beneficial chemicals.
The research is based on a large study, titled "Diets, Cancer and Health," and involving a review of the medical records of over 57,000 Danish people, collected between 1993 and 1997. The review included tests conducted on blood samples, adipose tissue, urine and toenails, cross-checked against dietary records.
The findings showed a significant correlation between use of antibiotics and lower enterolignan concentrations in the blood, particularly for women.
According to the lead researcher, Professor Knud Erik Bach Knudsen, Department of Animal Science at Aarhus University, there are number of compounds present in the diet which require microbial conversion in order to have a positive effect on health. Disrupting the bacteria in the gut, as with the over-use of antibiotics, leads to fewer levels of the chemicals being available. The researcher therefore calls on greater caution for when antibiotics are prescribed.
The study has been published in the Journal of Proteome Research. The research paper is titled “The effect of antibiotics and diet on enterolactone concentration and metabolome studied by targeted and non-targeted LC-MS metabolomics.”
More about Whole grains, microbiome, Microbiology, Antibiotics
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