By Lauren Le Vine, REDBOOK.
Cheese platterYou might want to skip the charcuterie and cheese platter entirely at holiday parties this year. Researchers at Harvard found that switching to a diet packed with meat and cheese but low on carbohydrates can have a negative affect on the bacteria in your gut in just two or three days. In that short period of time, the bacterium that flourish under a meat-rich diet start to thrive, and those microbes have been linked to inflammation and intestinal disease in mice.
Related: What America's Top Fertility Doctor Wants You To Know
The team at Harvard set out to study the short-term effect of extreme diets on humans: They had subjects spend five days eating a meat and dairy-heavy diet, then five days eating foods rich in fiber. During the animal-product-laden food days, the subjects' stomachs began to produce more bile, which had previously been linked to inflammation and and colitis in mice. The research has important long-term implications: Scientists will now focus on the link between bile and inflammation in humans, and how its production can be controlled and modified through both short- and long-term changes in diet.
More from REDBOOK: