High-Fiber Diet Keeps Intestinal Walls Intact

High-Fiber Diet Keeps Intestinal Walls Intact

A low-fiber diet not only makes digestion that much more difficult but it also causes fiber-eating microbes to dwindle and that opens up space for “mucus munchers” that make our intestines more vulnerable to infection. And you thought it was your nose that was full of mucus!

Turns out, mucus is a major player in our guts, as well. Eric Martens, a microbiologist at the University of Michigan says, “There’s antimicrobial peptides and proteins that are present in there. Bacteria live in there and forage on the carbohydrates. And it’s a lubricant, it helps sweep contents down the GI tract, without injuring the epithelial layer.”

Then, farther down the GI tract, in your colon, the mucus builds a wall; think of it as a barrier against friendly bacteria, unless you skimp on fiber. If that happens you gut bacteria are likely to chew right through that wall.

From the article:

“Martens and his team modeled that scenario in mice who’d been born free of microbes. They seeded the mice’s guts with a human gut microbiome—then fed them a high-fiber diet: raw milled corn, whole wheat, whole soybeans and oats. ‘It’s about as raw of a diet as you can get.’ The human equivalent: double our recommended daily intake of fiber. It’s a lot of kale.'”

The mice who got a diet high in fiber kept their mucus barrier intact. But in the mice with a zero fiber diet (or the kind of soluble fiber you see in processed foods) the fiber-eating members of the gut dwindled. Then, the mucus-munching bacteria boomed in number and tore through the protective mucus wall leaving intestinal cells open for microbial attack. The study was published in the journal

The study was published in the journal Cell.

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What the results showed us is that plant fiber is just like magic; eating natural vegetables, raw vegetables, cooked veggies, whole grains, is definitely good for you- so- EAT UP!

 

Source: Scientific American

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