Immigration to U.S. Lowers Healthy Gut Bacteria




People in developing nations have much greater diversity in gut bacteria than Americans, but a University of Minnesota study of U.S. immigrants has found that six to nine months after moving to the U.S. and eating a Western diet, the gut bacteria of those from countries with predominantly non-Western diets changed to match gut bacteria typical of a Western diet, while their gut bacteria became less diverse and less healthy. These effects increased with the duration of U.S. residence and were compounded across generations. The more “Westernized” a woman’s microbiome, the greater her risk of obesity.


This article appears in the February 2019 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Feeding Healthy Habits

Today’s barrage of junk food ads can easily influence kids for the worse, but 10 strategies, including visiting farmers’ markets, teaching cooking skills and implementing device-free family meals, can help them choose to eat better.

Beyond Sustainability

Farmers are increasingly exploring inexpensive organic methods to return microbial diversity to the soil, which could help mitigate a warming planet by allowing soil to absorb more carbon.

Aysha Akhtar on Our Symphony With Animals

Through her personal story as a survivor of childhood abuse and the stories of others, the neurologist demonstrates the scientific bond between animals and humans—and how they can heal each other.

Take It Easy on the Eggs

Eating three to four eggs a week increases heart disease mortality by 6 percent and all-cause mortality by 8 percent, a new study found.

Savor Cherries to Lower Metabolic Syndrome Risk

Montmorency tart cherries in juice or capsules lower systolic blood pressure and insulin levels within hours, reducing factors that lead to metabolic syndrome.

Add your comment: