Welcome to MyBestGI

Welcome to the MyBestGI Study

Learning how to incorporate healthful foods into your lifestyle can be enjoyable—and that is what we hope participants of the MyBestGI Study will discover!  


The goal of the MyBestGI Study is to evaluate methods that can help people achieve and maintain a “preventive” way of eating. Preventive eating refers to an eating pattern that is higher in healthful foods and lower in foods that are linked with increased risks of colon and rectal cancers. We call this "Trading Up" to healthier foods.


Research shows that diet plays a significant role in cancer prevention. We hope that the methods that we evaluate in this study, with the help of our participants, will be useful to improve how diet recommendations are made in the future. Our ultimate goal is to help people reduce their risk of cancer and to feel their best by learning how to eat in healthier ways. The other really great thing is that preventive eating can taste good too!

Thank you for your interest in this research. We hope that you will consider contacting us to learn more about the MyBestGI Study.

Laurie Buis, Ph.D. and Zora Djuric, Ph.D.

Study Co-Directors

MyBestGI Study

Department of Family Medicine

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI

How Diet Affects Gastrointestinal [GI] Health

Many people ask us how diet can affect the GI system. One important role of nutrients is to keep the GI lining strong. Bacteria are a major part of the microbiome that lives inside of the colon and rectum. Bacteria have both helpful and harmful functions. When you eat plant-based foods and whole grains, that maximizes growth of the helpful bacteria. These bacteria digest fiber to form helpful products that keep the colorectal lining strong. A strong lining has tight connections between the cells.

Some bacteria, on the other hand, produce harmful products. Weak connections between cells in the lining let harmful products leak in. This activates our immune cells. The secretions from the activated immune cells are meant to destroy the harmful bacterial products. However, if this keeps on happening over time, the immune cell secretions do result in damage to the cells lining the colon and rectum, and this increases the chances of cancerous changes happening.