The objective of this study is to determine the impact of consuming MREs as the sole source
of subsistence for 21 days on gut bacteria community composition and gut health. Up to 80
free-living adults will be randomized to consume their usual diet or only MREs for 21
consecutive days. MREs will be provided by the Military Nutrition Division, US Army Research
Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM). Fecal, urine and blood samples will be
collected periodically before, during and after the intervention to measure gut barrier
integrity, gut bacteria community composition, and markers of gut health, inflammation, and
- BMI </= 30
- Use of antiobiotcs within 3 months of study participation
- Use of pro- or prebiotic supplements within 2 weeks of study participation
- Vegetarian diets
- Use of laxatives, stool softeners, or anti-diarrheal medications at least once a week.
- Fewer than 4 bowel movements, on average, per week
- History of gastrointestinal disease
- Colonoscopy within 3 months of study participation
- Food allergies or aversions or other issues with foods that would preclude MRE
consumption, including gluten, milk, nuts, or eggs.
- Use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) or antihistamine prescribed
by a physician or clinician, or unwillingness to discontinue the use of these
substances during the study.
- Actively trying to lose weight
- Pregnant or lactating
- Recent blood donation