Professor Ralph Nanan and co-authors Dr Mingjing ‘Phyllis’ Hu and Dr Brigitte Santner-Nanan at Nepean Hospital. Photograph by Dominic Santangelo
Original Published Date: 
Thursday, July 11, 2019

Full article issued by The University of Sydney.

New research supported by two ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) grants has suggested that gut bacteria could have an impact on the outcome of pregnancies, with a high plant-based fibre diet recommended.

Researchers from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre, the Barwon Infant Study from Deakin University, Monash University, James Cook University and The Australian National University collaborated to investigate the role during pregnancy, of the metabolic products of gut bacteria which digest plant-based fibre.

Their discoveries suggest that the rapid increase of allergies and autoimmune conditions might be partly explained by the fact that Western diets are increasingly dominated by highly processed foods, which are very low in fibre.  Researchers say that the simple recommendation to ‘eat real food, mostly plants, and not too much’ might be the most effective primary prevention strategy for some of the most serious health conditions of our time.

Photo credit: 

Professor Ralph Nanan and co-authors Dr Mingjing ‘Phyllis’ Hu and Dr Brigitte Santner-Nanan at Nepean Hospital. Credit: Dominic Santangelo.