Deep in our gut, our microbiologic fellow travelers await the “manna” from heaven that we provide them, prechewed and ready for assimilation. In return, they provide nutrients and exert both pro- and anti-inflammatory influences on our well-being. In many ways, aided by the microbiome, we are what we eat – if only there were a Rosetta Sone to help us know how a particular food altered the offerings of our microbial dependents.
The nutrients that typically come to mind in connection with osteoporosis are calcium and vitamin D. But if a mouse study is translatable to humans, we may have to add dietary fiber to that list. Fiber is broken down by some gut bacteria to form short chain fatty acids that prevent bone breakdown.
Cirrhosis, the final stage of liver disease, is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States. Unhealthy bacteria in the mouth and gut appear to play a role.