What Role Does our Microbiome Play in a Healthy Diet? – with Tim Spector



There’s a lot of conflicting info out there about how to eat healthily. Tim Spector studies the microbiome to gain insight into how its diversity can impact health …

43 Comments

  1. Yes, I think this is all very interesting. But as far as health and chronic disease, I'm convinced it boils down to insulin – that is, hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance. That's where the focus needs to be – optimizing inputs and environment to promote insulin sensitivity. Everything else is essentially distraction and disinformation cloud.

  2. Dairy & animal testing causes animal suffering ,we must not cause harm in our Life to promote ourselves ,as everything is connected .If one hurts we all hurt . Plant based foods give us all that we require to stay healthy ….fact .

  3. I have lived all my life on a diet considered by all as highly dangerous not by choice but by genetic makeup. I do not produce any of the enzyme required to metabolize Fructose fruit sugar.
    So I have not been able to eat any fruit or vegetables my whole life.
    I am now 63. Able to walk up mountains, and nearly keep up with a group of 30 year olds over an assault course! I am still fit enough to join the British army. I do not work out or exercise at all.
    My blood pressure is fine and my cholesterol level is medium (3)
    I eat only meat, cheese, sugar free bread, rice and pasta. Occasionally I will eat potato chips and green leaves of cabbage spinach floppy lettice and watercress. However I also eat a lot of herbs and whole seeds of spices. Such as fennel, coriander, celery seeds etc etc.
    Not having been diagnosed until I was in my mid 20's and not receiving any worthwhile dietary advice ever from so called professional dietitians. I finally worked out what I could and could not safely eat only about 15 years ago. I recently had an MRI and ultrasound scan of my liver. We were expecting considerable damage from the decades of poor diet. My liver is enlarged about 100mm wider than it should be however there was no sign of damage or residual fatty deposits. The world expert on this condition Professor T Cox of Addenbrooks hospital Cambridge was amazed. He was expecting substantial damage as he had seen in other patents. I do have to eat probiotic yogurt every day and supplement my dietary fibre intake with none digestible fibre. I am now setting up a support group to help parents of HFI children and anyone diagnosed with the same genetic abnormality. I have linked all the English speaking social media support pages to this lecture. It is a really important source of information.

  4. If he addressed this I apologize in advance as I must have missed it, but how does the manner in which the foods are prepared affect the microbe profile? Are we defeating the purpose of diversifying if we boil or bake the sources?

  5. Great presentation. Look forward to further research into this topic. Note: I think Dr. Spector misspoke at 19:00, when he says, "…those who had high fiber diets lost less weight…" Someone earlier commented, "When was this from?", stating that "this advice is from 15-20 years ago". Actually, there was "talk" about one's biome being affected by diet, medications, etc., but there was no way to meaningfully research it,…until the development and refinement of high through-put DNA sequencing. Up until about ten years ago, it would have been nearly impossible and prohibitively expensive to accurately identify (i.e., determine the exact DNA sequences) of the literally thousands of separate species of bacteria and archaea in the gut biome. Only after this technology was developed was it possible to accurately assess and derive causal links between the gut biome, (specific spectra of thousands of species of microbes), and various medical disorders – and doing this comparing the biomes of thousands of different people. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA_sequencing

  6. Fat gutted people were on high fibre but slimmer people were on low fibre? And then the more they increased their fibre intake the more weight they lost?? Would help if this talk actually made sense!!

  7. I am a retired physician studying Whole Food Plant Based nutrition where the amount of prebiotic fiber is pivotal for the bugs. Wonderful presentation, indeed a timely insight to many recent publications but with personnel (n=1), clinical and research data. The 'soil food web' is yielding similar recognition as to soil health. New vistas! Thanks.

  8. Excellent presentation on a very timely and relevant topic.
    Is there a study in the U.S. which is the equivalent of the 'British Gut Project' in determining an individual's microbiome diversity?

  9. Glyphosate is an antibiotic sprayed on everything and it is necessary for nothing. It tricks organisms into thinking it is glycine, horrible results, liver offloads toxins into fat, causing obesity?

  10. Very interesting and helpful. Professor Tim Spector has been researching for many years and I am proud to have been a part of his research over the many years previous with my twin sister. They are still asking for more volunteers all the time. Especially with this gut research, as this will help us understand how our body works towards what we eat and drink and were we live and our life style. I hope in the coming future there will be more help and understanding for our wellbeing. Well done to you Tim Spector.

  11. Very interesting subject. The speaker, unfortunately, falls into the same trap he is warning everyone against. He makes the study of microbiome into a sensational discovery that trumps all dietary research up to this point and presents it as religion. But if you can bear through the stories of how no one had heard of "Kefir" before he wrote a book mentioning it and the condescending tone, it was an informative video.

  12. I believe if one overpopulates ones microbiome through probiotics that contain a random selection of "good" bacteria species based on nothing but statistics, the best way to get a re-do at a balancing action is to include fasting, simply to reduce the number of bacteria present in the gut.

    These bacteria are constantly multiplying, dieing, fighting over resources, just like animals in nature or fish in the ocean. What you feed them determine which ones get the upper hand. It IS an ecosystem. If you take plenty of probiotics and eat lots of fiber, it's possible a species of bacteria that doesn't suit you overpopulates your intestine and it won't die off or be countered by other species until it's source of nutrition is lessened or lost.

  13. When was this from? This is advice you would have heard 15-20 years ago. I have watched so many lectures from top experts and follow all of the clinical trials and the watch he saying that we think is from decades ago. There are too many people who think high-fat diets are the problem now. We all know processed high sugar foods is a big problem and yet he’s we all still think the former. There were many things he say like this. He wasn’t completely wrong. It’s like he researched online and took half the information from now and half the information from the 1980’s or 1990’a. Some of the stuff contradicted what all the researcher working solely on gut bacteria. I know he’s a doctor but that certainly doesn’t mean he knew anything about gut bacteria other then what he has read online. Matter of fact he said this much at the beginning of the lecture. Just not in those exact words. But he did say that he tried old fashion diets to start with until he researched more. I am not at all impressed with this lecture and the information that he is passing out. It is true so it seems that gut bacteria is most likely responsible for obesity, diabetes 2, and many more chronic diseases. Take his advice with a grain of salt but do do as he says and vary your diet and the vegetables that you eat.

  14. "Fat this, fat that, stay away from fat"! All that nonsense people used to get told was nothing but fearmongering. It is not the fat itself that is harmful, it is how your body metabolises fats that is key to overall health. We need fat to maintain health, in fact, cholesterol production is so important, that your liver and intestines make about 80% of the cholesterol you need to stay healthy. Only about 20% comes from the foods you eat. Thus, it can be said that heart-decease is a byproduct of a malfunctioning of the liver and intestines' ability to regulate fat levels throughout your system.

  15. What an excellent talk and research thank you! Glyphosate is creeping more and more into our food chain. For example, I believe avocados are now sprayed with it to prolong shelf life and crops are sprayed with Glyphosate prior to harvest to dry them off. But Glyphosate is also patented as an antibiotic – so could this be reducing our western microbiome? Is your research looking at this possibility?

  16. This is an experiment. I lasted until 7:50, and he has given lots of personal more or less contrarian and weighty opinions in an authoritative manner without laying out good scientific reasoning or much in way of proofs etc.(Yep, I did to various degrees disagree with many of his opinions, which motivated the comment, but doesn't invalidate the point I'm trying to make.) Let me jump to 20:00, and see if it the talk gets beyond opinions and facts aimed at telling us how amazingly important microbiome is. (Despite the hype, and some very interesting facts etc., there doesn't seem to be huge effects in the many experiments that have been made by now, it seems to me.)

    Beyond 20:00, now at 22:37. This was a much better experience as he talks about some real experiments, but he's still in narration mode, trying to make the case that microbiome is huge. But, as he concludes, with the supposed thin-making bacteria in some people's guts, the people who have tried to supplement these in cereals. didn't succeed. Facts over narration.

    I'm sorry to leave this kind of sour comment, but since this video was so well liked, and being published on a prestigious science channel, I thought it could potentially be worth saying. And maybe my judgment is off, I only watched 10mins, my credentials in science are modest etc. –

    At least we're all united in our efforts of critical thinking, eh? 🙂
    Have a nice day.

  17. Prof. Spector, as an ex-NHS biomed scientist who majored in microbiology (UCH & HTD St Pancras) I could not resist watching this. When I trained there were 'normal flora' (= harmless so ignore) and pathogens (= do something, identify which antibiotics should work). This was a real eye-opener regarding how far microbiological knowledge of 'normal flora' has advanced, and how far it still has to go. I was enthralled, thank you.

  18. I had a heart attack 12 years ago in 2007 and a stroke 7 years later and another a year later. I did a little research and found out good bacteria due to fermented cabbage, soybean etc., enabled people from Hokkaido have an average life of 94 with very little bone fracture from falling. I also found out natto, kimchi etc., cleans arteries, heart, kidney, liver, spleen of calcification while 700 new types of hormones are produced if you have sufficient (60iu) of vitamin D and 900 types of hormones if you have sufficient Magnesium. Necessary micronutrients then repairs 50-70 billion cells damaged daily with regenerations also. I am 70 and don't have diabetes, prostrate, constant weight of 65 kg. I have been eating vegetables since 2008 and natto for the last 16 months. Decalcification of the organs settles calcium on the bones.

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