Why Is Your Diet Not Working? There Could Be Not Enough Nitrogen In Your Gut

By Christie Abagon , Nov 25, 2016 01:05 AM EST

We may now finally understand why some diet strategies work effectively on some people but not on others.  Researchers say, it may not really be the type of diet, but the number of nitrogen microbes in your gut. 

Associate Professor Andrew Holmes, lead researcher, said: "There's enormous confusion about what makes one diet good and one diet bad.  What might be good in one person might be bad in another person."

Nitrogen Balance In Your Gut Is The Key To A Successful Weight Loss

Researchers from University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre recently conducted a study which says that the amount of nitrogen, a component of protein foods, in our guts plays a key role in the health of our gut bacteria.  The research team put 858 mice on 25 different diets comprising of varying amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat and found that there was a "tipping point" across all diets that related to how nutrients from the diet became available to nitrogen in the gut.

Gut Bacteria Plays A Key Role In Overall Digestive Health

In the study, two main responses emerged, despite the huge diversity of gut bacteria - microbes either increased or decreased in number depending on the animal's protein and carbohydrate intake.  The balance of gut bacteria in the microbiome is essential in immune regulation and digestive wellbeing

"The largest nutrient requirements for our gut bacteria are carbon and nitrogen in the foods we eat. As carbohydrates contain no nitrogen but protein does, the bacterial community response to the host animal's diet is strongly affected by this diets' protein-carbohydrate ratio.  The fact that this same pattern was seen across almost all groups of gut bacteria indicates that the makeup of the microbial ecosystem is fundamentally shaped by a need to access nitrogen in the intestinal environment."

The study aims to promote better dietary combinations to achieve optimal gut health.

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