Frontiers of Microbiology have published a new study examining the differences in bacterial composition and microbial diversity of organically grown versus conventionally grown apples. The #gut #microbiome plays a vital role in helping control digestion as well as aiding the immune system. An imbalance of healthy and unhealthy microbes in the intestines may contribute to high blood sugar, high cholesterol, weight gain and other disorders. This study focuses on the #plant-gut microbiome axis and the importance of #raw eaten plants as a source for microbes.
There was a profound difference between the tissues of the two different groups of apples. The researchers found that the organically managed apples had a significantly more diverse microbiota than the conventionally managed ones with the fruit pulp showing the highest amount. In the case of the conventional fruit it was the peel that showed the highest microbial diversity. Worryingly the conventional apples were also found to contain Escherichia-Shigella in low doses which evolves from Escherichia coli, the aetiologic agent for dysentery and diarrhoea.
Significantly the organic apples were found to have an abundance of probiotics, the core taxa being #lactobacillus. Specific microbial signatures such as Methylobacterium were also found in the organic apples which have been found to reduce incidences of food allergies. Previous research published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology has already shown how important apple peels can be in suppressing colonic inflammation by antagonising inflammatory T cells to enhance resistance against autoimmune disease. The evidence presented from both studies backs the old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” with the recent research showing many favourable health benefits available to consumers when choosing organic apples over those that have been conventionally grown.