Our digestive tract has a major impact not only on digestion, absorption and defense, but also on satiation and fullness after ingesting a meal. It therefore seems reasonable that the food we eat is a major modulator of gastrointestinal health, through the gut microbiota.
In normal conditions, free of any digestive complaints, food intake can have a pleasurable dimension. However, a large proportion of the general population presents digestive symptoms, with no detectable abnormalities using conventional diagnostic methods.
Given the importance of getting a better understanding of factors that determine digestive sensations when managing functional gut disorders, we have published a series of 8 posts on behalf of the special issue entitled “Food and Diet for Gut Function and Dysfunction”, which was recently launched in the peer reviewed open access journal Nutrients. This issue was instigated by the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, guest edited by Profs Fernando Azpiroz and Paul Enck, and made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from Danone.
The research and review articles covered include:
- The evidence regarding the effects of kefir and non-dairy fermented foods on gastrointestinal health. The authors explore the impact of kefir and major non-dairy fermented foods on the gut microbiota.
- The latest scientific evidence about the role of diet in managing irritable bowel syndrome. Food intolerances are commonly reported in those with IBS and this review covers dietary patterns that may help in managing functional digestive symptoms.
- Mechanisms of action behind food intolerances. In this review, the authors explore how common food intolerances occur and the role played by specific dietary patterns that exclude certain food groups in managing these conditions.
- How the upper gastrointestinal tract responds to meal-related stimuli and its relevance in healthy conditions and eating-related disorders. This review deals with physiological mechanisms that regulate proper gastrointestinal function and their clinical relevance in conditions that are not linked to the gut.
- The benefits of Magnetic Resonance Imaging as a safe technique for studying how food alters gastrointestinal intraluminal content. The authors provide an update of the major advances in the use of MRI as a non-invasive approach for studying the behavior of food materials and fluids in the context of gastrointestinal function and transit.
- A new pilot intervention study showing that consumption of a fermented milk product with a probiotic may improve the tolerance of a flatulogenic plant-based diet. This research in healthy adults shows that fermented milk products that include probiotics could help improve digestive comfort in the context of gas-inducing plant-based diets.
- Beyond digestive function: meal characteristics and individual responsiveness are major triggers of sensations related to food ingestion. This review looks at human data on factors that determine the digestive experience and sensations before, during and especially after a meal.
- Does sex matter when studying brain responses to a palatable meal?. This study has found that sex may affect subjective responses to a palatable meal at the thalamus and anterior insula level in healthy individuals.
We hope you enjoy reading these articles and don’t forget to keep updated on the latest research into nutrition and gut microbiome science via our blog!