Researching the Gut-Probiotic Connection

Researching the Gut-Probiotic Connection

Posted on April 25, 2017

What’s going on in our guts? The DuPuis Group and its venture TempehSure are sponsors of the Slow Food Microbiome Project researching whether adding artisan fermented foods to people’s diets causes beneficial bacteria (probiotics) to appear in their guts. Because probiotics are an important part of fermented foods, the thought is that a diet rich in foods like tempeh, sauerkraut and kimchi may contribute to abundant bacterial diversity of beneficial species in the study group’s gut microbiomes.

There’s encouraging data that probiotics may help treat some infections, IBS, and prevent or lessen colds and flu, according to the Mayo Clinic.

To find out if probiotics help overall health, Slow Food Ventura County (California), is bringing together Ubiome, a San Francisco-based research and citizen science company; SFVC’s Integrated Research team; California Lutheran University; volunteers and artisan fermenters. Researchers are tasked with identifying which foods—if any—contribute to the beneficial microbial attributes associated with positive health.

The study kicked off March 19 with a dinner of fermented foods, including tempeh from our TempehSure Protein Pod. Chef Juan Agustin turned our chickpea-kernza (a perennial grain) tempeh into 125 servings of Spring Rolls with zucchini, carrot and grapefruit quinoa. They were served with a Strawberry and Fermented Chili Sauce (pictured) or an Avocado and Pea Tendril Sauce.

For the study, 50 volunteers consumed their normal diet for one week, and the following week added handmade, wild-fermented foods made by artisans from throughout Southern California. The participants collected before, during and after stool samples across a three-week period.

After completing the analysis, the research team will seek evidence of the fermented foods’ benefits in the cohort’s data. The results will be presented at the DuPuis Group’s Ventura office in June and again to a national audience at Slow Food Nations, held July 14-16 in Denver, Colorado.