Fiber Breeds Friendly Gut Bacteria
In a new study, researchers at the University of Illinois found that adding certain types of fiber to the diet changed the microbiota — the trillions of friendly and not-so-friendly bacteria in your intestinal tract that play a huge role in health and disease. "Our data demonstrate a beneficial shift in microbiota of adults consuming healthful fibers," wrote the researchers in The Journal of Nutrition. "For instance, one type of bacteria that thrived as a result of the types of fiber fed in this study is inherently anti-inflammatory," a study researcher told the media.
Bottom line: Eat lots of high-fiber fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, to maintain healthy microbiota, healthy digestion, and just plain old good health.
"454 pyrosequencing reveals a shift in fecal microbiota of healthy adult men consuming polydextrose or soluble corn fiber." Hooda S, et al., J Nutr. 2012 Jul;142(7):1259-65. Epub 2012 May 30.
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