The U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine has started a study on methods to prevent gastrointestinal illnesses among deployed warfighters and improve gut health.
Researchers began to gather volunteers in June 2015 from the Natick, Massachusetts area to complete a set of tasks as part of the study, the Army said Tuesday.
Half of the volunteers will eat Meals, Ready to Eat for 21 days and the other half will retain their normal diet.
“What emerging science suggests is that the bacteria living in our gut can have a large impact on physical, mental and general health, not only in our warfighters but in everyone,” said Philip Karl, USARIEM’s principal investigator of the study.
“A recent explosion in technology now allows us to study the trillions of bacteria living in our gut in ways we never have been able to before,” added Karl.
The volunteers will meet research staff at Natick Soldier Systems Center three times a week for the collection of fecal, blood and urine samples.
“We use these samples to assess if the MRE is impacting bacteria and whether that interaction influences health,” Karl said.