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Good News For Wonder Bread Fans: White Bread Boosts Healthful Gut Bacteria

June 11, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers in Spain have discovered something that may help restore the tarnished reputation of traditional white bread, long a staple of American households. Thirty-eight healthy adults were questioned about their diets. In addition, stool samples were analyzed to determine the bacteria present in their intestines  A surprising finding was that white bread boosted the levels of Lactobacillus, a group of beneficial bacteria. The analysis also showed that the citrus-derived compound pectin actually reduces levels of some helpful bacteria, contrary to findings of previous research on pectin alone. That revelation led to perhaps the most useful insight derived from the research: the impact of foods on our microbiomes should be analyzed in combinations, rather than discretely.
Adriana Cuervo et al., "Pilot Study of Diet and Microbiota: Interactive Associations of Fibers and Polyphenols with Human Intestinal Bacteria. ", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, June 11, 2014, © American Chemical Society
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