Wonder Bread Good For Us? No Way! Way

Remember that spongy white stuff your mom used to put peanut butter and jelly and tomatoes and mayonnaise on?  It's baaaa-aaa-ck, and it's maybe not so bad, after all.

Scientists are now reporting that this much-maligned food seems to encourage the growth of some of our most helpful inhabitants — beneficial gut bacteria, according to newswise.com. 

Sonia González and colleagues note that the bacteria in our guts, or our microbiome, play an important role in our health, the Web site reports. "When certain populations of bacteria drop, people become more prone to disease. One of the most effective ways to maintain a good balance of the microbes living in our guts is through our diets. To figure out what dietary ingredients promote helpful bacteria, several studies have looked at the effects of individual fibers and probiotics. But few researchers had investigated the role of polyphenols, which are common in much of what we consume — spices, teas, fruits and vegetables — or how polyphenols and fibers together help balance our gut microbes."

So Gonzalez set out to do that.

The team asked 38 healthy adults questions about their diets and figured out which bacteria were present in the participants’ stool samples.  Their most novel finding, they said, was that white bread boosted Lactobacillus, a group of beneficial bacteria.  

This bacteria is one of the "friendly" bacteria that normally live in our digestive, urinary, and genital systems without causing disease. Lactobacillus is also in some fermented foods like yogurt and in dietary supplements.

According to webmd.com, ome people use lactobacillus for general digestion problems; irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); colic in babies; Crohn's disease; inflammation of the colon; and a serious gut problem called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in babies born prematurely. Lactobacillus is also used for infection with Helicobacter pylori, the type of bacteria that causes ulcers, and also for other types of infections including urinary tract infections (UTIs), vaginal yeast infections, to prevent the common cold in adults, and to prevent respiratory infections in children attending daycare centers. It is also being tested to prevent serious infections in people on ventilators.

So clearly, we need these bacteria.  But do we really have to go back to eating that deadly bread?







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