Reference Number: 231
It has become apparent that gut microbiota is closely associated with cardiometabolic diseases (CMDs), and alteration in microbiome compositions is also linked to the host environment. Next generation sequencing (NGS) has facilitated in-depth studies on the effects of herbal medicine and functional food on gut microbiota. Both herbal medicine and functional food contain fiber, polyphenols and polysaccharides, exerting prebiotics-like activities in the prevention and treatment of CMDs. The administrations of herbal medicine and functional food lead to increased the abundance of phylum Bacteroidetes, and genus Akkermansia, Bifidobacteria, Lactobacillus, Bacteroidesand Prevotella, while reducing phylum Firmicutes and Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio in gut. Both herbal medicine and functional food interact with gut microbiome and alter the microbial metabolites including short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), bile acids (BAs) and lipopolysaccharides (LPS), which are now correlated with metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes (T2D), obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In addition, trimethylamine (TMA)-N-oxide (TMAO) is recently linked to atherosclerosis (AS) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risks. Moreover, gut-organs axes may serve as the potential strategy for treating CMDs with the intervention of herbal medicine and functional food. In summary, a balance between herbal medicine and functional food rich in fiber, polyphenols and polysaccharides plays a vital role in modulating gut microbiota (phylum Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio, and genus Akkermansia, Bifidobacteria, Lactobacillus, Bacteroides and Prevotella) through SCFAs, BAs, LPS and TMAO signaling regarding CMDs. Targeting gut-organs axes may serve as a new therapeutic strategy for CMDs by herbal medicine and functional food in the future. This review aims to summarize the balance between herbal medicine and functional food utilized for the prevention and treatment of CMDs through modulating gut microbiota.
What does this mean for bakers?
This is an interesting review of how the balance between herbal medicine and foods rich in fibre, polyphenols and polysaccharides, can affect our gut microbiota and potentially have an impact on the prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic diseases.
More studies are showing how the gut flora influences other organ systems in our bodies. With this in mind, this work brings back the ancient concept of using “food as medicine”, something to consider when we are choosing ingredients to include in our baking.
Polyphenols occur naturally in fruits, such as cherries, apples, and apricots, as well as in black and chamomile tea, and lentils – click on the links to discover how to use these ingredients in our recipes. For recipes which increase fibre, try gently increasing the amount of wholegrain flour into your bread like in this Olive, Rosemary & Sea Salt Sourdough Focaccia.