(Deccan Chronicle) Trying to watch your waistline this holiday season?
You may want to pay more attention to the diet of your gut bacteria, according to scientists who suggest that a fibre rich diet can influence weight gain, blood sugar and colon health.
It is not just calories that matter in a healthy diet – it is fibre that resists digestion by the body but is readily eaten by bacteria in the gut, researchers said.
Fibre in its various forms is found in fruits, legumes, vegetables, and whole grains.
So-called Western diets, which are high in fats and sugars but low in fibre, have been linked to an increased risk of inflammatory bowel diseases, weight gain, and diabetes.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that the average person’s fibre intake in a Western country has drastically reduced over the past few decades,” said Fredrik Backhed, from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.
“Diets that lack fibre alter the bacterial composition and bacterial metabolism, which in turn causes defects to the inner mucus layer and allows bacteria to come close, something that triggers inflammation and ultimately metabolic disease,” said Hansson.
“It is not enough just to add fibre to your diet; it also depends on which bacteria you carry,” Gewirtz said.
This likely means more study is needed before fibre supplements can be used as a treatment.
“Simply enriching processed food with purified fibres might offer some health benefits, but we’re not ready to recommend it until we understand more of the very complex interplay between food, bacteria, and host,” Gewirtz said.
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