Role of microbiome in diet?


The gut microbiome plays a pivotal role in diet and overall health by affecting various biological functions. Here's a summary based on the expert discussions:

Benefits of a Diverse Gut Microbiome

  • A diverse gut microbiome supports immune system function, hormone function, and mood through the gut-brain axis.
  • It assists the production of neurotransmitters which are crucial for mood and motivation.
  • Enhancing the diversity of gut microbiota involves consuming specific types of foods, particularly fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and Greek yogurt, which enrich the gut microbiome's function and reduce inflammation both in the brain and body 1.

Impact of Diet on Microbiome

  • Different diets impact the microbial composition differently. For instance, high-fiber diets or diets rich in fermented foods uniquely modify the gut microbiota and immune function.
  • A study mentioned by Andrew Huberman demonstrated significant health impacts when participants' diets were high in fiber or fermented foods, leading to changes in immune markers and microbial diversity 2.

Influence on Mental Health

  • The gut microbiome also influences mental health. Diverse microbiota is associated with reduced feelings of loneliness and improved emotional wellbeing.
  • Certain microbiota are linked to better mood and lesser depressive symptoms 3.

    Gut Microbiome Benefits

    Andrew Huberman explains the benefits of having a diverse gut microbiome and how consuming low sugar fermented foods can greatly improve gut function and support the immune system. Ingesting four servings a day of these foods can reduce inflammation in the brain and body, leading to better mental and physical health.

    Huberman Lab

    Developing a Rational Approach to Supplementation for Health & Performance | Huberman Lab Podcast

Influence by Probiotics and Fasting

  • Probiotics may not replenish all necessary bacteria but can create an environment that supports the growth of beneficial microbiota indirectly. However, fasting may disrupt healthy microbial elements but can lead to compensatory proliferation after resumption of eating 4.

Plant-Based Diets

  • Plant-based diets, particularly those high in dietary fiber, contribute positively by feeding gut microbiota and producing beneficial compounds like short-chain fatty acids. These compounds have regulatory roles in metabolism and the immune system 5.


The gut microbiome is a complex and essential part of health influenced by various factors including the types of foods consumed. High diversity in gut microbiota, supported by specific diets like those rich in fiber or fermented foods, offers numerous health benefits, particularly in immune function and mental health.