Microbiome Bites November 20th: Why low-fiber diets are harmful

Why low-fiber diets are harmful | ThinkBiome

1. How lack of fiber hurts your gut microbiome

A study published this week in the journal Cell gives a fantastic insight into why fiber is good for you and your gut microbiome. Scientists at the university of Michigan have found that when microbes inside the digestive tract of mice don't get the natural fiber that they rely on for food, they begin to munch away the natural layer of mucus that lines (and protects) the gut, eroding it to the point where dangerous invading bacteria can infect the colon wall. The protection of the mucus layer only happened when the mice were fed a complete fiber diet, giving the mice single, purified prebiotics still resulted in degradation of the mucus layer. This reiterates why taking a single prebiotic supplement is not enough and that the complete fiber approach (such as provided by Biome Balance), is necessary for gut microbiome health. The scientists note however, that mixes of prebiotic fibers might be more effective, which is something they will be studying in future.

While this evidence comes from work in mice, the results mirror everything that doctors and nutritionists have been telling us for years;

Eat lots of fiber from diverse sources!

You can read a more detailed overview here and the published study here (behind a paywall)

2. Probiotics may help reduce blood sugar

A small new study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions annual meeting suggests that adding probiotic-rich foods into the DASH diet could protect patients against developing diabetes. The researchers found that adding probiotic foods to the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet improved participants fasting blood-glucose levels more than the DASH diet alone. The research team believes that short chain fatty acids, especially butyrate, produced by the probiotic bacteria play a role in insulin sensitivity. When insulin sensitivity is higher, the body does a better job of absorbing sugar from the blood, therefore lowering blood sugar levels. Read more here.

3. Armpit Bacteria Transplants Could Save Us From Our Stink

You’ve most likely heard about fecal microbiota transplants (FMT) and their effectiveness in treating C. difficile infections. Now a researcher at the University of California is applying the principle to armpits to cure body odor. Although it may seem frivolous, body odor can have a significant, negative impact on peoples’ lives, affecting their jobs and relationships. The researchers have discovered that the bacterium Staphylococcus epidermidis is found in greater numbers in people with neutral odor, while a greater abundance of Corynebacterium is associated with more odor. Transplanting the armpit bacteria from neutral odor individuals can significantly improve the body odor of an affected individual. Read more here.