A two-week diet swap experiment hints at just how damaging a Western diet might be to our guts.
Researchers asked people to switch diets for two weeks – 20 US volunteers moved to a low-fat, high-fibre diet while 20 volunteers from rural Africa were asked to eat more “junk” food.
Although the swap was brief, its impact was visible, Nature Communication says.
The Americans benefited from less bowel inflammation, while the African volunteers’ bowel health deteriorated.
It is not possible to make any firm conclusions based on such a small study, say experts.
But the findings do support the belief that modern Western diets – which are high in fat and sugar and low in fibre – are bad for us.