Study finds childhood diet has lifelong impact

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Eating too much fat and sugar as a child can alter your microbiome for life, even if you later learn to eat healthier, a new study in mice suggests. The study by UC Riverside researchers is one of the first to show a in the total number and diversity of gut bacteria in mature mice fed an as juveniles.

“We studied mice, but the effect we observed is equivalent to kids having a Western , high in fat and sugar and their still being affected up to six years after puberty,” explained UCR evolutionary physiologist Theodore Garland.A paper describing the study has recently been published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

The microbiome refers to all the bacteria as well as fungi, parasites, and viruses that live on and inside a human or animal. Most of these microorganisms are found in the intestines, and most of them are helpful, stimulating the , breaking down food and helping synthesize key vitamins.

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