Any discussion of processed foods usually revolves around the negative effects of consuming them. However, a new study has found a specific human gut bacterial strain called “Collinsella intestinalis” that is capable of completely reducing the drawbacks of eating processed foods.
Scientists from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis discovered that Collinsella intestinalis breaks down the chemical fructoselysine into pieces that do not affect the host’s body. Fructoselysine is one of the chemicals that are formed during food processing. It is commonly found in numerous processed foods that we eat, such as pasta, chocolate, and cereals. In the study, mice were given samples of Collinsella intestinalis as well as processed foods to see how the human gut bacteria would interact with the fructoselysine.
The primary function of the human gut microbiomes is to “digest food otherwise indigestible by human enzymes and deliver nutrients and metabolites for the biological benefit of the host.”
Results from the study showed that mice with the Collinsella intestinalis in their system showed “an increase in the gut microbial communities’ ability to break down fructoselysine into harmless byproducts.” The fructoselysine was “metabolized more efficiently” in the presence of the Collinsella intestinalis.
One scientist from the study noted that “future studies are required before scientists will be able to identify specific capacities of individual microbes to clean up potentially deleterious chemicals produced during modern food manufacturing.” Humans aren’t completely immune to processed foods just yet.
However, it is still promising that scientists have found that Collinsella intestinalis is in our foreseeable future in terms of being able to eat processed food without any negative effects. Processed foods are consumed by many people throughout the world, and with this recent study they may not be as harmful as people think.