Processed Foods and Gut Microbiome

“Frankenstein Foods” and Gut Microbiome

Modern scientific innovations and advancements have brought many changes in our lifestyle when compared to the standard of living from just a hundred or so years ago. In some ways, life has become more comfortable and easier. However there are some modern techniques, particularly in the food industry, which are seriously threatening our health as a society. One such method of growing food crops is the use of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.
What are GMOs?
According to www.nongmoproject.org:
“GMOs (or “genetically modified organisms”) are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering, or GE. This relatively new science creates unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacteria and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.”
“Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.”
“Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.”
The more I research GMOs, the more “freakish” they seem to be. It’s shocking the plant “creatures” science can create these days. While they may have some benefits like increased food production and increased resistance to herbicides/insecticides, I wonder at what cost?
What is the Gut Microbiome?
Our body is a home to an extremely large number of organisms. In fact, it is now believed that the ratio of the microbiome present in our body is greatly in favor of microbiome with an approximate ratio of 100 to 1! Some sources say there are over a 1000 types of species present in our gut. One of the main functions of this microbiome is the help it gives in the digestion of food, but there are many others too including the absorption of fat and production of some vitamins and minerals essential for our bodies. This is the same microbiome that helps in determining the risk of many heart and autoimmune related diseases.
GMOs Effect on Gut Microbiome
Mounting concern and research is evidencing the harm that GMOs have on our gut health including:
• Less nutritional value
• Compounds that can’t be digested by the microbiome in the gut
• Creation of new allergic reactions
• Increased antibiotic resistance
• Studies on rats fed GMOs have shown alterations in the gut tissue
The long-term health effects of GMOs are just not known yet and more studies need to be carried out. I don’t know about you but I just prefer natural, nutritious food instead of “Frankenstein” food! To learn more about GMOs, go to http://www.nongmoproject.org.