Diet, microbiota and health
The impact of diet on health is no longer questioned and a diverse diet is key in this context. A challenge is to understand the main mechanisms that are involved in the links between dietary profiles and chronic diseases. Amongst players is the gut microbiota, which metabolize a myriad of food molecules. While different food items influence the composition and diversity of the gut microbiota, this latter also influences the metabolism of nutrients used by the host. This issue of “The Global Fruit & Veg Newsletter” is focusing on food diversity, food compounds, and human health via the potential contribution of the gut microbiota. Using dietary quality index, Laitinen et al. showed in pregnant women that high dietary quality index associates with improved microbiota diversity and increased bacterial species, being beneficial in some chronic disorders. The consumption of fruit and vegetables (F&V) is an integral part of dietary diversity and Lecerf has highlighted recent data regarding the important link between F&V and changes in gut microbiota with potential favorable effects on health. Amongst F&V related molecules, fl avonoids are a subclass of polyphenols metabolized by the gut microbiota. Bolling et al. summarizes mechanisms of action of flavonoids involving gut inflammatory pathways. These reports highlight the urgent need to understand how food derived molecules are metabolized by the microbiota functional machinery and impact our metabolism.