Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

Immigration to U.S. Lowers Healthy Gut Bacteria

People in developing nations have much greater diversity in gut bacteria than Americans, but a University of Minnesota study of U.S. immigrants has found that six to nine months after moving to the U.S. and eating a Western diet, the gut bacteria of those from countries with predominantly non-Western diets changed to match gut bacteria typical of a Western diet, while their gut bacteria became less diverse and less healthy. These effects increased with the duration of U.S. residence and were compounded across generations. The more “Westernized” a woman’s microbiome, the greater her risk of obesity.


This article appears in the February 2019 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Read the full April 2020 Magazine
Upcoming Events Near You
Magazine Pickup Locations

Read Directory Edition

Directory Edition

Global Brief
Health Brief