health brief

Unsung Heros

Herbs and Spices Promote Gut Health

Unsung Heros - Ruslan Huzau/ShutterStock.com
       Ruslan Huzau/ShutterStock.com

A 2022 research study published in The Journal of Nutrition suggests that herbs and spices may be unsung heroes in the quest for gut health. The three-period, randomized, controlled-feeding study involved 54 obese or overweight adults aged 30 to 75 with at least one other risk factor for cardiovascular disease, such as elevated glucose or triglycerides.

Participants consumed the same average American diet for four weeks, along with one of three daily doses of spices and herbs—0.5 grams, 3.3 grams or 6.6 grams—which included cinnamon, ginger, cumin, turmeric, rosemary, oregano, basil and thyme. Fecal samples were collected at the start of the study and the end of each diet period.

Researchers determined that consuming 3.3 or 6.6 grams of herbs and spices per day increased levels of the Ruminococcaceae bacteria, a major player in the maintenance of gut health. The highest levels of this beneficial bacteria were observed among those that consumed the highest levels of herbs and spices.

The scientists recommend further investigation to identify the metabolic implications of their findings.

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