Dr Paul Moayyedi is a professor in the Division of Gastroenterology at McMaster University, Richard Hunt/AstraZeneca Chair in Gastroenterology, and the inaugural assistant dean of research.
What aspects of diet are beneficial for the gut microbiota?
Paul Moayyedi, BSc, MB ChB, PhD, MPH: To reiterate, because we do not know what a healthy microbiota really is, I think it is even harder to answer that question.
You want organisms that produce a lot of butyrate, which are anti-inflammatory and you want to promote that, but I think it is disingenuous to say I know what diet will do that. Again, it goes back to just a sensible amount of red meat and more fish, green vegetables, and fruit in your diet rather than mainly meat. In the Western societies we are eating mainly meat and probably should not.
But it is not that meat is bad. It is just that we have got to be more balanced with other things in our diet and if we do that, I think, we will all have a more healthy microbiota. I do not know that for sure, but what I do know is that it probably leads to better health outcomes.