A recent study in the journal Cell showed how important fibre (from whole foods such as vegetables, berries and wholegrain) is to the health of our gut.
Our gut microbiome, the bacteria who live in our intestines, is also affected by our diet. As these symbiotic fellows guard the health of our gut lining, the balance of this ecology is of prime importance to us all.
In this experiment, the researchers were looking at mice, who were divided into 3 groups: those with plenty of whole food derived fibre, those with no fibre and those with supplemented prebiotics (like those you can obtain from supplements).
The research showed that when the fibre-rich diet was consumed, the animal's gastrointestinal track stayed healthy, protecting the mouse from infection. The protective effect was especially seen in the mucus layer, which forms a physical barrier between the gut content and the gut lining.
However when the diet contained no fibre, even for a few days, the gut microbes started to consume the mucus layers, using the glycoproteins of the mucus as a nutrient source. Worse still, after a few days the bacteria started to consume the actual colon wall, reducing the integrity of the gastrointestinal track.
The researchers found that a diet high in prebiotic fibre, similar to that found in some processed foods and supplements, showed similar results to the diet that lacked fibre. The scientists also found the fibre-free diet caused the mice to show signs of illness.
In conclusion the team state that “your diet directly influences your microbiota, and from there it may influence the status of your gut’s mucus layer and tendency toward disease. But it’s an open question of whether we can cure our cultural lack of fibre, with something more purified and easy to ingest than broccoli.”
I ask - what's wrong with broccoli??!!
If you have any digestive issues, low immunity or energy problems, please don't hesitate to give me a call and arrange an appointment.
You can access the abstract of this study HERE