Health Meets Food: The Culinary Medicine Conference 2018

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Friday, June 15 • 4:00pm - 4:55pm
Clinical/Culinary Track - A Healthy Gastrointestinal Microbiome is Dependent on Dietary Diversity

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The gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome in the colon is an ecosystem that is fed about 3 – to 4- hours after ingesting a meal.  A healthy ecosystem is a diverse biome with multiplicity of interactions.  When biodiversity is lost, few species become dominant and the GI microbiome is considered unhealthy.  The major energy force entering this system is nutrients from diet that have not been digested or are partially digested but not absorbed. The perspective that I wish to convey is that dietary diversity has been lost during the past 50 years because of decreased agrobiodiversity and the consequential shifts in the GI microbiome have contributed to the increased prevalence of several diseases.  
I will demonstrate that the increased prevalence of obesity, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease over the past 50 years all are recently characterized with less diverse GI microbiota species when compared to healthy cohorts.  During the same 5 decades, there was a dramatic narrowing of dietary diversity. I plan to introduce the notion that fad diets have the potential for reducing microbiome diversity and some practices may force the microbiota to harvest available substrates of our mucosa.  I will include a perspective on consuming plants grown organically that contain phytoalexins and could interact with the microbiome in a beneficial manner. 
Emulsifiers are commonly used in processing foods and recently are found to significantly shift the GI microbiome of mice. The best medicine for a healthy GI microbiome is maintenance of a diverse diet. In our busy lifestyles, we rely too much on food that is processed from the greatest productive species and modern agricultural practices.  There is a need to expand our narrowing dietary diversity. Enhancing diversity may require dietary microbiome modulators as dietary supplements or medical foods.

avatar for Mark L. Heiman, Ph.D., FTOS

Mark L. Heiman, Ph.D., FTOS

Vice President of Research And Chief Scientific Officer, MicroBiome Therapeutics
Dr. Heiman received a Ph.D. in 1978 from Louisiana State University School of Medicine with concentration in Physiology. He trained in neuroendocrinology during the next 4 years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Indiana University School of Medicine and then returned to New Orleans... Read More →

Friday June 15, 2018 4:00pm - 4:55pm CDT
Iberville Meeting Room - Mezzanine Level - Jung Hotel 1500 Canal St., New Orleans, LA 70112 (504) 226-5864