Doctors and microbiologists warn: despite what the latest social media trends proclaim, there’s no quick fix for better gut health. More influencers are promoting their “cures” — from drinking aloe vera juice to boiling apples — on TikTok. Their videos are getting millions of views — and are raising concerns from medical and scientific authorities.
“If somebody is claiming to have something that will immediately turn gut health around, you should be skeptical of that,” says Justin Sonnenburg, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford. The article in The New York Times notes Sonnenburg advocates for “long-term lifestyle habits that can benefit the gut — ones that rarely go viral or make their way to social media acclaim.”
Sonnenburg’s groundbreaking study last August showed fermented foods — like yogurt, kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut and kombucha — can increase the diversity of gut bacteria. “His research found that people who ate six servings of fermented foods each day saw these benefits — the equivalent of consuming one cup of yogurt, one 16-ounce bottle of kombucha and one cup of kimchi in a day,” the article continues.
The Times interviewed a panel of experts that included a dietitian, sociologist, gastroenterologist and Sonnenburg. They say, to improve your gut, change your lifestyle. They encourage eating more fiber, eating fermented foods, limiting processed foods and lowering stress levels.
Read more (The New York Times)