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Intestine & digestion

Chocolate, do you know it’s good for the bacterial flora?

May 7, 2018

Good news: chocolate, particularly dark, is one of the many external factors that influence the composition of the bacterial flora, i.e. all the micro-organisms that live in the intestine and form part of the human microbioma – explains Dr. Beatrice Salvioli, gastroenterologist at the Humanitas hospital. The composition of the microbioma is influenced by 60 dietary factors, including dark chocolate, which is the “favorite” of a particular group of bacteria. In addition to dark chocolate, an association has been found between the composition of the microbioma and the fibers contained in vegetables, fruit and cereals, but also beer, wine and coffee, which can “stimulate” the diversity of the bacterial flora, while whole milk and a very caloric diet can, instead, depress it. In addition, a greater diversity of microbiomas can be observed in those who regularly consume yoghurt or buttermilk, a product of cream processing to obtain the butter widely used in northern European cuisine. Finally, the intake of drugs such as antibiotics and laxatives as well as contraceptives and drugs for hormone replacement therapy also reverberates on the microbioma.

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