A study published in Gut, an international gastroenterology and hepatology journal, suggests that a vegan diet is better for digestion, the immune system, and maintaining cholesterol levels than a diet that includes animal products. Researchers studied a group of 153 participants split evenly between vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores, and found that vegans had the highest levels of beneficial gut bacteria metabolites known as short chain fatty acids (SCFA). Conversely, omnivores had the highest levels of trimethylamineoxide (TMAO), a toxin that has been linked to increased risk of heart attack and stroke. This and other scientific studies conclude that a high-fiber diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts is the optimum way to maintain a balanced microbiome.
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