Tying it all together, Fiber + Gut Microbes

This article certainly brings together all of the health stuff I find most fascinating.  That is, how what we eat affects our health, and the hidden colonies in our bowels.  I guess the next study should be something about gut bacteria and heart disease.

This is another article from Lee Swanson Research Updates.  Please note, once again, this is a supplement supplier reporting on positive effect from modification of diet alone.  The research article is referenced as well.

Lee Swanson Research Update

High-Fiber Diet May Protect against Asthma

January 14, 2014

New animal research suggests a high-fiber diet may influence immune responses to protect against allergic asthma. While it has long been well-known that the balance of resident bacteria in the intestinal tract plays a central role in maintaining healthy gastrointestinal function, the influence of gut microbiota and their metabolites on inflammation in other parts of the body, such as the lungs, has not been well understood. In light of these facts, scientists from the University Hospital of Lausanne in Switzerland examined the effects of dietary fermentable fiber content on gut and lung microbe concentrations and lung inflammation in mice.

The researchers found that dietary fiber content influenced both gut and lung microbiota content by changing the ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes. They also found that when the gut bacteria metabolized the fiber, it increased circulating levels of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), reducing allergic response in the lungs. At the study, authors reported, “Mice fed a high-fiber diet had increased circulating levels of SCFAs and were protected against allergic inflammation in the lung, whereas a low-fiber diet decreased levels of SCFAs and increased allergic airway disease.” The authors concluded that their results “…show that dietary fermentable fiber and SCFAs can shape the immunological environment in the lung and influence the severity of allergic inflammation.”


Trompette A, Gollwitzer ES, et al. Gut microbiota metabolism of dietary fiber influences allergic airway disease and hematopoiesis. Nature Medicine (2014). doi:10.1038/nm.3444




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