11 April 2016

Irreversible impact of a low fibre diet on gut flora

Any diet and health book, blog, advice will tell us to increase our intake of fibres. Fibres are essential for a variety of reasons including helping digestion, regulating our metabolism (avoid obesity and diabetes), avoid cardiovascular issues (lowering cholesterol), etc.

But did you know there are two types of fibres? Solubles and insolubles?
Both types behave differently in the gut, but they all end up being munched by our lovely gut flora species.



Those insoluble fibres are essential food for our little bugs. Without them, they are not doing too well. As the diversity in species is key to a healthy you, starving some species off simply results in an unhappy and unhealthy gut. The consequences of which can range from allergies to cancer.

Unfortunately, a recent study on mice showed that by being on a low-fibre highly-processed Western diet, entire species of friendly gut bacteria are starved off and never fully recover - even once back on a healthy high fibre diet.*

What was more worrying though was that this newly balanced gut flora with unhealthy species of bugs was passed on to new generations of mice (mainly from mum to baby as he gets born), and this with even less chance of recovery through healthy eating: some species were in fact completely extinct by generation number four!

This finding, combined with knowing that our Western lifestyle habits such as C-sections, formula feeding, and the overuse of antibiotics results in a poor gut flora diversity, should help us make a definite move towards a healthy life if we don't wish to affect future generations.

Where can I find good fibres, I hear you say: wholemeal bread, nuts, seeds, skin of fruit (apple, grapes, tomato), prunes, dates, popcorn, brown rice, bell peppers, cabbage, onions, lettuce, beans, peas, potato skin, cucumber skin, courgette, cauliflower, celery, avocado, unripe banana.

How do you take your fibres? Do you eat your recommended 30g/day?

Feel free to share your stories in the comments section, I'd love to read them.

See you next Monday1

The study can be found here

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My bugs and I Published @ 2014 by Ipietoon