We know that a diet high in saturated fat and sugar isn’t conducive to a long, healthy life. And yet so many people still struggle with reducing or eliminating these foods from their diets. Weight control and heart health are often cited as reasons for wanting to change eating habits; however, a growing body of evidence suggests there is an even more basic, vital reason for fueling your body with high-quality nutrients like protein and fiber.
The gut microbiota is the name given to all the living microbes that make up your digestive environment. This complex system of over 1,000 species of bacteria is not fully understood, but researchers are learning more about the role of the gut microbiome in overall health every day. Because of the way the gut communicates with other systems in the body, particularly the brain, what we eat can have far-reaching effects on our physical and mental well-being.
Functions of the gut microbiota include physical and biochemical roles. Most obviously, it helps the body digest food and produce certain vitamins (specifically B and K).1 It’s also vital to the immune system, combating aggressions from other microorganisms and acting as a barrier to harmful agents in the body. Additionally, the gut-brain connection (or gut-brain axis) allows for chemical communication between the gut and brain. For example, neurotransmitters, the chemicals that regulate emotions, are produced by gut cells and microbes in the digestive tract.2
As you might expect, different nutrients have different effects on the gut microbiota. What’s more, different types of fiber are processed differently and net different results. One study at Washington University School of Medicine explored how fiber affected the microbiome in mice. By combining the physiological results with genetic screening, “…the investigators were able to identify particular fiber sources, their bioactive molecular components, and the bacterial genes that increased when diets were supplemented with different fibers.”3
Science is moving closer to a thorough understanding of exactly how our guts and the many millions of bacteria there work and what they mean for our health. But what we know is that fiber consumption, particularly prebiotic fiber, helps support the growth of helpful, “friendly” bacteria in the gut to support a healthy microbiome.
If you struggle to get enough fiber in your diet, Fiber Choice® tablets and gummies may help! Containing prebiotic fiber, Fiber Choice and has a positive impact on the gut microbiome by feeding the good bacteria. Fiber Choice comes in a variety of forms and flavors to fit every lifestyle. Learn more today!
1 Gut Microbiota Info. Gut Microbiota for Health. Accessed December 17, 2019. Web. Available at: https://www.gutmicrobiotaforhealth.com/en/about-gut-microbiota-info/
2 Yano JM, Yu K, Donaldson GP, et al. Indigenous bacteria from the gut microbiota regulate host serotonin biosynthesis. Cell. 2015 Apr 9. 161(2); 264-276. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.02.047.
3 Microbiome Hungry for the Right Fiber. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. Published September 20, 2019. Accessed December 17, 2019. Web. Available at: https://www.genengnews.com/news/microbiome-hungry-for-the-right-fiber/