Can a healthy diet restore microbiome?


Yes, a healthy diet can significantly influence and potentially restore the microbiome. According to , a shift towards a healthy diet rich in dietary fibers can initiate rapid changes in the gut microbiome. In their research, changes induced by diet showed a resilient nature of the microbiome, often reverting back to a state similar to its original after dietary modifications.

For instance, a study noted rapid changes in the gut microbiome of mice switched from a typical mouse diet to a low fiber, high-fat diet. The diversity of the microbiome decreased, resembling patterns seen in populations consuming Western diets. However, reintroducing a healthy, fiber-rich diet resulted in many microbes returning to their original state. If such dietary modifications are maintained over generations, irreversible changes can occur with significant loss in microbial diversity, unless there's re-seeding through means like fecal transplants.

It was highlighted that establishing a stable, healthy microbiome might require not just dietary changes but also access to diverse microbes, possibly through therapeutics in the future. This emphasizes the role of a nutrient-rich diet in enhancing microbiome health and its resilience against less optimal conditions 1.

Microbiome Resilience

Justin explains the resilience of the gut microbiome and how it can be restored to a healthy state through dietary perturbations. He shares insights from a multigenerational study on mice that shows how a low fiber, high fat diet can cause the gut microbiome to deteriorate, but a healthy diet can restore it to its original state. Access to the right microbes and nourishing them with the proper diet is key to establishing a new stable state.

Huberman Lab

Dr. Justin Sonnenburg: How to Build, Maintain & Repair Gut Health | Huberman Lab Podcast #62