Gut health: Try the ‘blue poop challenge’ to learn about your microbiome07/11/2021
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“The wrong balance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ gut microbes can contribute to weight gain, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, obesity and other health problems,” stated the scientists at ZOE. Dr Federica Amati – who is involved in an ongoing nutrition research project at ZOE – encourages you to take part in the ‘blue poop challenge’. This involves consuming edible blue dye – either in a muffin or shake – to measure your gut transit time.
“It’s such an exciting step in personalised nutrition,” said Dr Amati.
New research – published in the British Medical Journal – found that the blue dye method can teach us more about our intestinal health and microbiome population than through standard stool charts.
Stool charts simply analyses how regular a person is and the appearance of the faeces.
ZOE’s research suggests there’s a complex interplay between the foods we eat, dietary inflammation, and the gut microbiome.
“The structure and community of the gut microbiome have been associated with both health and disease states,” the scientists explained.
The human gut microbiome “is hugely variable from person to person” – even identical twins have very different gut microbiomes.
Furthermore, the gut microbiome can be modified within a few days of dietary alteration.
“Unsurprisingly, most foods that support the growth of ‘good’ microbes are high in fibre,” the scientists pointed out.
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To learn about your gut microbiome, ZOE provides a free online analysis if you take part in the blue poop challenge.
How to take part in the blue poop challenge
The original experiment involves baking blue muffins with blue food dye, which can take up to an hour.
A more simple way is to try Indi’s Blue Body Shake, recommended by Dr Amati, who is Indi’s chief nutrition scientist.
“Indi’s take on the blue poop challenge is a fun and easy way to get us to pay attention to our gut health,” Dr Amati said.
Blue Body Shake Blue Poop Challenge
Mix together one scoop of Blue Body Shake, 200ml coconut milk, and 1tsp of royal blue food colouring.
- Shake or mix well in a glass.
- Wait until you see blue in your loo
- Record your results at ZOE’s blue poop challenge.
Make sure you record the date and time when you first drink the Blue Body Shake.
Then you need to note down when you saw blue poop, again noting down the date and time.
The ZOE free analysis tool will then ask you a few questions about your diet.
From there, your personalised five-page report from the blue poop challenge will be sent to you via the email you provide.
Results will include the “good” and “bad” bacteria that are likely harbouring inside of your gut.
For example, you might be hosting “Eubacterium eligens”, which is associated with lower insulin secretion and higher polyunsaturated fat levels.
The online tool will then set you a health goal so that you can gain more good bacteria in your gut microbiome.
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