Sugar silences a protein necessary for the colonization of beneficial gut bacteria. In a mouse model, Yale researchers found that fructose and glucose (sugars extremely abundant in the Western diet) block Roc, a protein essential for the colonization of Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, a beneficial gut bacteria strain associated with processing fiber rich foods like vegetables. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
→Takeaway: Until recently, scientists believed that sugar was absorbed in the small intestines, never reaching the colon. This study and others confirm that dietary sugars can travel through the small intestines and reach the rest of the gut where they act not as nutrients, but as signaling molecules that can detrimentally impact the microbiome and human health. One more reason to avoid added sugar!