Jun 14 2020

Fiber is Fuel for your Microbes

Published by at 11:51 am under probiotic supplements

Fiber is fuel for your microbes.*
Diets low in fiber put us at risk for modern-day gut issues. *

With summer upon us, there is an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits from which to choose. So there’s no better time than NOW to make sure your gut is as healthy as it can be. The microbes residing in the gut need lots of fruits and vegetables and other fiber to stay healthy and functioning properly. After all, diets high in fiber are associated with lower cholesterol levels, regulated blood sugar levels, weight control, and lower incidents of cancer. 1*

“…On average, American adults eat 10 to 15 grams of total fiber per day, while the USDA’s recommended daily amount for adults up to age 50 is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. Women and men older than 50 should have 21 and 30 daily grams, respectively…” But many of us are not getting enough and that is bad news for our gut microbes and by changing this, we can see a big shift in our health. 1*

As we know, fiber is the part of plant-based foods that our bodies are unable to digest. There are two types, soluble and insoluble, and both types are good for us. Soluble fiber which is found in black beans, lima beans, Brussels sprouts, avocado, sweet potato, broccoli, apples, and pears dissolves in water and forms a gummy gel which can slow the movement of food from the stomach to the intestine. This fiber is instrumental in lowering cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease, and regulating blood sugar levels. (1,2)*

Insoluble fiber which is found in artichokes, cauliflower, leafy greens, asparagus, wheat bran, potatoes, and green beans passes through the digestive system relatively intact, which adds bulk to stools. This keeps us regular, prevents constipation, and helps to eliminate waste from the body in a timely manner. (1,2)*

So what happens when we don’t get enough fiber? All the benefits of fiber described above can instead be replaced by illness. When we don’t get enough fiber, we are more susceptible to weight gain, high blood sugar, and cholesterol. Sometimes people forget about the importance of fiber. After all, it is not a very exciting or sexy topic. Other diet trends have overshadowed the importance of fiber in the headlines. But one study sheds light on how fiber protects the gut.2*

As humans, we have trillions of microbes in our gut that outnumber our own cells. Additionally, we have approximately 17 digestive enzymes. The microbes themselves have thousands of enzymes. So while we are unable to digest high fiber foods, the microbes can. When this digestion takes place, our microbes are extracting the key nutrients we need and protects the microbiome. This was at the basis of this experiment which was published in the journal Cell Reports.(3,4)*

A team of international researchers used mice with no gut microbes and raised them in a sterile environment. They then transplanted 14 bacteria commonly found in the human gut, but fed them a diet with no fiber. They observed that the microbes changed their ordinary eating habits (of eating the fiber) and instead started feeding on the natural layer of mucus which lines the gut wall. Over a short time, they observed that this caused little harm because the body regenerates this mucosal layer.  But, over long periods of time, (as in people who sustain themselves on a diet high in processed and junk foods), this mucosal layer becomes dangerously thin making it more susceptible to infections. Microbes can more easily permeate the gut wall and enter the bloodstream which leads to infections, causing irritation and inflammation of the colon, which is called colitis. Colitis is believed to be at the core of many modern-day gut issues. Simply by giving the mice fiber, it seemed to solve the problem. (3,4)*

This experiment demonstrated how important fiber is to human gut health.  Another study showed that people on low fiber diets gain weight more quickly and have a less diverse microbiome. Most people eat below the minimum recommendation of 25-30 grams per day. This experiment leads us to conclude that this deficiency may be why so many people have such a high rate of ‘modern-day’ issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, digestive disorders, and why food allergies are so prevalent. Both of these are linked to the hard to understand and hard to measure the issue of “leaky gut”. (3,4)*

One last part of the study emphasized that there is no replacement for the real thing when it comes to plant-based fiber vs. processed or refined fiber. If you can eat your fiber as opposed to taking supplements, it showed more effective. Additionally, making sure to get enough fiber is as important as avoiding sugar and refined foods. One study showed that when hamburgers and fries are eaten for 10 days straight, the number and diversity of healthy bacteria decreased by 40 percent. It’s about microbial diversity and when you eat lots of fiber and avoid junk and processed foods, you keep the microbes healthy, multiplying, and diverse. (3,4)*

Lastly, eating plenty of fiber helps support the efficacy of Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™. The friendly bacteria in Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ multiply and thrive with a high fiber diet. While encapsulated in a prebiotic blend of humic and fulvic acid, the natural fiber we eat only gives them more food to multiply exponentially.*

Now go enjoy those delicious and healthy summer fruits and vegetables and have a healthy and happy summer!

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/should-i-be-eating-more-fiber-2019022115927#:~:text=On%20average%2C%20American%20adults%20eat,and%2030%20daily%20grams%2C%20respectively.
  2. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14400-improving-your-health-with-fiber
  3. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/eat-your-fibre-or-face-the-flesh-eating-microbe-cannibals-a7443111.html
  4. https://www.cell.com/fulltext/S0092-8674(16)31464-7

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