Dr Lawrence and I met after The Gut Makeover was published in the UK, and she saw an interview about my work in The Daily Telegraph.
She wanted to know if I had been collecting any data, on the symptoms of people following this gut-friendly diet before and after their 4 weeks following it. Yes, I had been collecting data and was planning another group gut makeover soon where I would be too. We applied for retrospective and forward ethics approval, and consent from participants. Out study is the result of 18-months of work led by Dr Kate Lawrence. This study of 21 people found a 70 per cent reduction in common troublesome health symptoms using diet in four weeks.
- Participants lost an average of seven pounds in 4 weeks without counting calories or controlling portion sizes at meals.
- Troublesome digestive IBS-type symptoms including loose stools, constipation, bloating, and heartburn, and wind plunged 71 per cent.
- The group saw a 70 per cent reduction of overall self-recorded health symptoms on a questionnaire listing more than 70 types of common negative symptoms.
- Emotion symptom scores including mood swings, anxiety, and depression reduced by 67 per cent.
- Mind symptoms scores including poor memory and concentration went down by 73 per cent.
Although this is a small study, and did not have a control group, nor use stool samples to measure gut bacteria, we very much hope this work will pave the way for us to apply for funding for a larger study which does include those. Not everyone wants to recommend nor take pharmaceuticals or nutraceuticals, and this kind of research may be of real value to them.
Our paper, “Microbiome restoration diet improves digestion, cognition and physical and emotional wellbeing” can be read here.