McDonald’s and microbiomes are not friends

Comments (1) Business, Tech & Gadgets, Education

This whole deal about the nasi lemak burger is everywhere on social media, and i told Baby, “Ew. I just read this page in my book about how a McDonald’s meal affects our body up to 5 hours.”

Baby: What? Tell me!

So i told her, and mumbled off to myself that i should blog about it too.

Baby: You SHOULD!

Here i am making what i presumptuously call my community service announcement.

First off, i used to eat McDonald’s all the time. Mickey Ds. Mackers. Ate heaps of it.
As i got older and wiser to my food choices, i started turning my nose up at it cos it has NO nutritional value. It’s just a well-marketed brand that is able to provide fast (but totes unhealthy) food to people who are none the wiser…

I have maybe eaten one McDonald’s burger in the past 7 years, and even that i’m struggling to remember if i did or not. If i were to eat McDs again, it would have to be an absolute emergency where i really had no other option.

Ok so to what i’ve been reading, are you ready for a bit of a science class?!

The microbiome = a total ecology of micro-organisms, which have worked with our human body cells for billions of years to develop into each person we are today. The microbiome is ever-changing… and there are diff microecologies located in the mouth, intestines, skin, and vagina.

You know how some ppl get bitten by mosquitoes more than others (like me!) ? It’s due to the different microbes on their skin and how much mosquitoes are attracted to them!

A lot of emphasis and interest is placed in the research of the microbiome in our gut system, cos it helps educate the immune system to prevent disease and more amazingly – our gut bacteria produce neuroactive compounds that interact with brain cells. Cue gut-brain connection. Bacteria in your gut can affect your mood, or potentially contribute to mental illness.

Anyway, MAIN POINT is the microbiome is essential to our entire body’s state. It affects one’s ability to digest food / extract nutrients, and exerts a major effect on hormones, immunity, stress response, and chronic inflammation.

Inflammation is VERY BAD. Mounting evidence links inflammation to a host of disorders like heart disease, hypertension, and various cancers. Stanford University microbiologists Erica and Justin Sonnenburg released a paper on how modern gut systems are severely compromised due to Western diets that have contributed to the crucial rise of chronic diseases especially allergies.

Dr. Paresh Dandona (State University of New York, Buffalo’s School of Medicine) got volunteers of average weight to eat a typical McDonald’s meal. We all know that it’s high in salt and fat while containing no fibre = unhealthy; but Dandona uncovered a new discovery in his report:

“Levels of C-reactive protein, an indicator of systemic inflammation, shot up “within literally minutes… i was shocked,” [Dandona] recalls, that a “simple McDonald’s meal that seems harmless enough” – the sort of high-fat, high-carbohydrate meal that 1 in 4 Americans eats regularly – would have such a dramatic effect. And it lasted for [five] hours.”

Consuming a Big Mac rapidly injects fats into the bloodstream that can be observed as visible clouding in the serum (clear liquid) after the red corpuscles are centrifuged out. A fast-food meal inflamed, but a high-fiber meal did not. However, when the fast food meal was accompanied by fresh, unprocessed orange juice – it counteracted the inflammation.

Another fact that caught Dandona’s attention was a molecule called the endotoxin (literally “inner poison”) that appeared in blood of subjects after eating McDonald’s (but not of those who also had orange juice). Endotoxin is produced by the outer membrane of the bacteria, and its presence in the bloodstream signals the immune system to go into action, resulting in inflammation. The endotoxin got into the bloodstream by being ushered there through the intestinal wall by the McDs food (leaky gut syndrome), whereas the orange juice somehow kept the endotoxin inside the gut.

So i guess the lesson here is if you were to reallyyyy wanna eat a McD’s meal, bring along fresh, unprocessed orange juice XD

Or better yet, don’t eat McDs at all :p


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All the above info and sentences are excerpts from the book Super Genes.


One Response to McDonald’s and microbiomes are not friends

  1. […] Well. He flew home before Jess, Dhanya, Ming and i. Our* flight got delayed by THREE HOURS. And AirAsia pacified us with RM10 McDonald’s vouchers for a McDs that was outside the boarding area -_- And we all know how much i love McDonald’s. -_- […]

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