Eating McDonald’s for 10 consecutive days can destroy the healthy bacteria in your body that make up your microbiome, a man who tested it so the rest of us don’t have to.
Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, asked his son Tom, a genetics student at the University of Aberystwyth, to do an experiment where he lived with McDonald’s food for 10 days. Tom could eat a Big Mac or chicken nuggets, chips and cola, and Dad did the math.
Where does the problem lie?
Tom said he felt fine for three days, but then it was slow and, according to his friends, it was light gray. He said he had been uncomfortable in the past few days and that he also had withdrawal symptoms. Tom sent stool samples to various labs during his experiment, and the final results came from Cornell University and the British Gut Project.
The results showed that Tom’s gut microbes were “devastated,” Spector reports in The Conversation. Tom had lost about 40% of his bacteria, about 1,400. This loss of diversity in the microbiome is worrisome because it can be a warning sign for health problems like obesity and diabetes.
The results of the tests
The sample size is not scientifically accurate, but the results suggest another possible side effect of a diet low in fruits and vegetables and high in junk food. A healthy microbiome can support a healthy immune system, and poor nutrition for days can affect this relationship.
Of course, eating daily can also make a difference. It is not clear that eating pasta or just lettuce leaves would be much better for your intestinal diversity. A healthy and varied diet with healthier foods is not always safe.