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Can Dietary Fiber Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease?

Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease: Dietary Fiber on Your Brain

How much dietary fiber you eat each day reveals a lot about how healthy your body and your gut really are…

Unfortunately, less than 10 percent of all American adults eat the amount of dietary fiber their bodies need to maintain their good health, according to recent findings from the American Society For Nutrition (ASN).

This dietary fiber deficit has led to serious health problems related to the heart (inflammation and circulatory issues), not to mention diabetes, that often start in the human gut.

Add an elevated risk of Alzheimer’s disease to the growing list of health problems related to a lack of dietary fiber, according to researchers at LSU Health New Orleans.

 

The Inflammatory Path to Alzheimer’s

LSU scientists recently discovered the pathway that a potent neurotoxin — lipopolysaccharide (LPS) — takes from its creation in the gut to the brain in a study appearing in Frontiers in Neurology.

Considered the most inflammatory class of neurotoxic chemicals in the human body, many laboratories have detected different forms of LPS in the neurons of brains harmed by Alzheimer’s disease, says Dr. Walter Lukiw, co-lead researcher on this study and a professor at the LSU Health School of Medicine.

Based on their work with human and animal brain cells, scientists learned LPS generates a “messenger molecule” that travels from the gut through the bloodstream and to the brain, where it shrinks cells, increases inflammation and robs neurons of their signaling abilities, Lukiw says.

Although this new information has the potential to offer new treatments for neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, the better news here is that we can lessen the production of LPS in our bodies very simply by increasing the daily amount of fiber we eat in our daily diets.

 

More Fiber and Healthier Brain

So, if eating more fiber is good for your gut and your brain, how much do you really need and where do you get it?

Generally, men need a bit more dietary fiber (30-38 grams) than women (21-25 grams) depending on their ages (people over age 50 require a little less fiber).

Eating about 30 grams of fiber may sound challenging, but it really amounts to 1 powerful ounce of protection for your health. And, it’s very doable if you enjoy nutrient-dense whole foods like fruits (raspberries and mangoes), vegetables (green beans, cauliflower), legumes (chickpeas and lentils), oats and mushrooms.

But that’s not all you can do, especially if you want to give your gut and your health some extra protection…

Taking a probiotic with proven strains of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families and a prebiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic does a lot of good behind the scenes by enhancing the natural fermentation of fiber that feeds your gut and protects your brain!

 

References

Frontiers in Neurology

NOLA.com

LSU Health New Orleans

American Society For Nutrition

Senior african american woman smiling and looking up and away from camera. Overlaid text on image reads "The Aging Gut 101: Healthy Aging, Healthy Gut

The Aging Gut 101

The Aging Gut 101: Healthy Aging, Healthy Gut

“Does my gut age just like the rest of me?”

We get this question a lot, especially from older folks who are starting to understand the connection between the gut and their health in ways that matter directly to them, like maintaining their bones and preserving their cognitive skills.

The simple answer: The composition of bacteria in your gut evolves with time just like your body. Your microbiome develops rapidly from infancy to age 3, stabilizes through middle age, then changes rapidly later in life, according to the National Institute on Aging.

Those changes can be a good thing. In fact, the more your gut bacteria evolves as you age, the better your overall health may be, based on recent research appearing in Nature Metabolism.

Your Evolving Gut

This study compared a wealth of data on human health along with gut microbiome genetic sequencing data on more than 9,000 patients ranging from ages 18-101.

However, the real focus of the research team (led by scientists at the Institute for Systems Biology) was a subset of more than 900 older patients (ages 78-98) to better understand the makeup of their microbiomes and how they matched up with their overall health.

To the good, older adults whose microbiomes kept evolving enjoyed better overall health, as evidenced by lower levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, higher vitamin D levels and more beneficial blood metabolites produced by the gut (including one that reduced inflammation and extended lives in previous animal studies).

Not only did those with more unique microbiomes feel better, they experienced greater overall mobility and could walk faster than their peers whose gut health didn’t change as much with age.

To the bad, patients with less diverse microbiomes took more medications and were nearly twice as likely to die during the course of the study.

Scientists also learned that microbiome uniqueness was more prevalent among women, which may go a long way toward explaining why women often outlive men…

Your Diet Matters

So, what drives microbial evolution and longevity among seniors? The healthiest patients with the most dramatic shifts in their microbiomes experienced steep drops in Bacteroides, a species commonly found in people who eat more processed foods and far less fiber.

When patients eat less fiber, the Bacteroides in their guts have little to eat which can trigger an immune response leading to chronic inflammation and an array of age-related conditions from arthritis to heart disease.

These results certainly mirror previous articles we’ve shared about the many health benefits of dietary fiber, especially if you want to maintain a resilient, healthy gut microbiome that evolves as you age.

How much fiber your body needs every day to maintain optimal health depends on your gender — men need a bit more (31-38 grams) than women (21-25 grams) — and the quality of your diet.

Are You Taking A Probiotic?

If you’re having challenges getting enough fiber, taking a daily probiotic formulated with proven strains of beneficial bacteria and a prebiotic can do a lot of good.

Taking a probiotic with a prebiotic may also reduce low-grade inflammation. This was the key finding in a recent review of studies appearing in Nutrients.

One of the real benefits of taking a probiotic comes from the production of butyrate (short-chain fatty acids created when your gut digests soluble fiber) that reduces chronic low-grade inflammation in your gut.

If you’ve been looking for a good probiotic, find one with multiple strains of beneficial and proven bacteria from the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus families plus a prebiotic that feeds the good guys in your gut, like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.

Resources

National Institute on Aging

Nature Metabolism

New York Times

Gut Microbiota For Health

Nutrients

Nutraingredients Asia

Illustration of a digestive system and a curled arm showing bicep muscle. Text: Your gut and muscle growth

How Gut Affects Muscle Growth

Your Gut and Growing Muscles

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body, whether it’s strength training, swimming, tai chi or walking.

What’s more, the benefits of exercise — from losing weight and reducing your risks of serious disease to strengthening your bones and muscles — are many and well-proven.

We already know exercise changes our gut for the better based on the production of butyrate, short-chain fatty acids that protect your gut from more harmful bacteria.

Did you know the health of your gut microbiome may affect the growth of your muscles too?

The Antibiotic Angle

Researchers at the University of Kentucky put this question to the test by taking an interesting approach using 42 female mice.

During the nine-week trial, some mice were fed water laced with a variety of low-dose antibiotics, no friend to the gut, while others were fed plain water. During this period all test animals had access to running wheels to encourage exercise.

No surprise, the muscles of mice that were fed antibiotics didn’t grow nearly as much as the group protected from antibiotics, although both sets of test animals exercised for about the same amount of time.

Of course, these results provoke new questions regarding the kinds of antibiotics used and whether the gender of the test animals really made as difference.

The fact remains that there is a connection between the presence of specific gut bacteria and muscle growth, according to Dr. John McCarthy, and associate professor at the University of Kentucky.

McCarthy cited a recent study in Nature Medicine that linked endurance for elite marathon runners and mice to the abundance of a specific species of gut bacteria (Veillonella).

The goal here isn’t limited only to improving athletic performance. This growing body of knowledge will help to identify substances made by gut bacteria to promote muscle growth among people dealing with cancer or aging, says study co-author Taylor Valentino.

The Lesson Learned

For now, no matter what researchers learn about muscle growth, our take-home message remains pretty simple…

Even after taking in all of this research, we’re still learning about the wide-ranging benefits the gut has to offer as well as the many problems associated with antibiotics.

If you have concerns about what to do when you’re prescribed an antibiotic by your family physician, be sure to take a look at our recently updated antibiotic protocol for guidance.

Antibiotics have a depleting effect on the bacteria in your gut that keep your immune system strong and healthy. One of the easiest and most effective ways to protect and support is to take a probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic, formulated with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families, about two hours before that scheduled antibiotic.

That extra time gives those beneficial bacteria to make it to your gut and protect your gut, the center of your immune system.

Resources

The Journal of Physiology

The Physiological Society

Harvard Medical School

MedlinePlus

Clinical OMICs

Nature Medicine

Yellow illustration of a gut with a magnifying glass being held up to it and showing probiotic bacteria while enlarged red illustrations of coronavirus are being smashed against the gut illustration and breaking

Does Diet Affect Covid Symptoms?

How Your Gut Health May Affect The Severity of the Coronavirus

Eating a poor diet like the typical Western diet — full of processed foods full of sugar, fats, and refined grains — creates all kinds of problems for your health related to your gut.

For starters, these nutrient-poor diets increase your risks of obesity and your vulnerability to a cluster of serious health conditions (cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer) known as metabolic syndrome.

Now, some health experts believe unhealthy diets may also increase your risks of a more severe case of the coronavirus too, based on a recent review of research published in mBio, the journal of the American Society of Microbiology.

Another Culprit: Leaky Gut

The report stems from a question posed by Dr. Heenan Stanley Kim, a microbiologist at Korea University’s Laboratory for Human Microbial Interactions: Why are countries like the U.S with solid medical infrastructures being hit so hard by the coronavirus?

As we know very well, the common link, the Western diet already disrupts the healthy balance of bacteria in the gut.

Another gut health problem Dr. Kim points to is leaky gut, a condition in which breakdowns in the intestinal wall allow toxic waste products, undigested food, bacteria and viruses to break through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream.

Leaky gut may be a pathway in which the coronavirus spreads from the gut into the bloodstream and other organs in the body, leading to more severe cases. (A healthy gut supported by the presence of butyrate may block that kind of response.)

Rebalancing Your Gut

This report supports a study we shared with you recently that found a link between imbalances in the gut and the severity of coronavirus. Its chief finding: The guts of coronavirus patients contained fewer strains of beneficial bacteria that could muster an immune system response.

What’s more, studies appearing in other medical journals (Gastroenterology and Clinical Infectious Diseases) in 2020 have found similar links to gut health imbalances and the coronavirus, so there’s a likely connection.

Fortunately, you can improve the health of your gut very easily by taking some simple steps.

First and foremost, it’s critical to eat a healthy, balanced diet, especially when you’re prescribed an antibiotic, a well-known disruptor to your gut health.

Make sure that diet includes a daily “dose” of dietary fiber. Just 1 ounce (30 grams) is all it takes and that’s pretty easy to do, especially if you enjoy eating strawberries, lentils, beans, apples, and whole grains.

Another way to ensure the bacteria in your gut stay in balance: Take a probiotic formulated with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotics,‑with 10 buildings blocks from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families, plus a prebiotic (FOS) that feeds the good bacteria in your gut.

Resources

mBio

Gut Microbiota For Health

Mayo Clinic

Clinical Infectious Diseases

Gastroenterology

Graphic of dietary fiber foods: carrots, bananas, broccoli, and cabbage.

The Benefits of Dietary Fiber

Are you eating enough dietary fiber to protect the health of your gut?

You may be eating lots of fiber in your diet if you enjoy…

  • Fruits (raspberries and mangoes)
  • Legumes (lentils and chickpeas)
  • Vegetables (cauliflower, green beans)
  • Chocolate (the darker kinds with more cocoa)
  • Popcorn (just skip the butter)
  • Oats and barley
  • Mushrooms

Many foods claim to have lots of fiber in them. Even processed foods like corn or potato chips and fruit juices contain some fiber, but it’s far less compared to more minimally processed foods.

Understanding dietary fiber

To really understand dietary fiber is to know the differences between the different kinds: Soluble (the kind dissolved by water) and insoluble (the kind not dissolved by water).

Both soluble and insoluble fiber are good and come in different amounts depending on what you’re eating.

Insoluble fiber works best in your gastrointestinal tract by “attracting” water to your stool, making it easier to pass with less stress on your bowel.

Conversely, soluble fiber is dissolved by water and fermented into beneficial by-products including short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).

What are the benefits?

When you digest fiber-rich foods, your gut generates a number of beneficial SCFAs. One of them — butyrate — provides nourishment for healthy bacteria, but that’s not all.

Butyrate acts to strengthen the structural integrity of the gut, protecting it from leaky gut, a problem created when breakdowns in the intestinal wall allow undigested food and other toxic waste products to seep into the bloodstream.

Butyrate also improves heart health by lessening problems with inflammation and the presence of fatty plaque that can clog arteries — a sure sign of atherosclerosis.

Eating more soluble fiber also delays the emptying of your stomach, which promotes more fullness, meaning you won’t feel the need to each as much as you did before.

In fact, a very recent review of studies, appearing in the medical journal Nutrients, underscored these important benefits and generally reported healthy alterations of gut bacteria among patients.

How much dietary fiber do you need for your health?

Despite all the good dietary fiber can do, the quality of your diet and the amount of fiber you consume each day determines how much you’ll really benefit.

Eating the right amount of fiber every day can be a challenge, especially for men who need a bit more of it (30-38 grams) than women (21-25 grams), depending on age.

That problem can be more difficult if you’re always eating on the go and your diet is chock full of highly processed, sugary and fatty foods, the kinds with little to no fiber content.

Adding roughly 30 grams of fiber may sound like a lot yet, in reality, that amounts to about 1 powerful ounce of protection.

But that’s not all you can do…

Taking a probiotic with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic with 10 strains of beneficial bacteria and the prebiotic FOS (fructooligosaccharide) enhances the natural fermentation of fiber that feeds your gut and protects your health.

If you’ve been wanting to lose weight, you may want to consider EndoMune Metabolic Rescue, a special probiotic/prebiotic blend that stimulates the production of hormones in your gut and decreases your appetite.

References

Nutrients

Science

Frontiers in Immunology

American Heart Association

Harvard Health Blog

Healthline

 

 

 

heart and stethoscope being held by mother and daughter

How Eating Dietary Fiber Promotes Heart Health

One of the easiest and best things you can do to give your health a much needed boost is to eat more foods rich in dietary fiber.

When you hear people talking about eating more dietary fiber (found in whole grains, fruits, legumes and vegetables), it’s mostly associated with treating.

However, eating more dietary fiber — the indigestible parts of plant foods that pass through your lower gastrointestinal tract relatively intact  — does a lot to promote good heart health too.

Based on previous research, it doesn’t take eating a whole lot more dietary fiber to make a heart-healthy difference. But the hows and whys have been a mystery to scientists…

A recent study from researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, UCLA and the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) may go a long way toward explaining the reasons behind this gut-healthy benefit that gets far less attention than it should.

The fatty acid connection

Wisconsin scientists identified one species of gut bacteria — Roseburia — linked to the production of the beneficial fatty acid butyrate in the guts of germ-free mice. Conclusions from the study appearing in Nature Microbiology showed reduced inflammation and atherosclerosis.

But there’s one catch: The presence of Roseburia alone wasn’t enough.

Feeding mice a high-fiber diet was the catalyst that provided extra protection. Even test animals who had Roseburia in their gut microbiomes but not enough fiber in their diets just didn’t produce enough butyrate to make a heart-healthy difference.

To ensure their high-fiber results were valid, researchers fed germ-free mice that lacked butyrate-producing bacteria a slow-release version of butyrate that would survive intact through their gastrointestinal tract.

No surprise, the presence of butyrate alone reduced signs of atherosclerosis and inflammation along with the amount of fatty plaques.

Leaky gut issues

This study really underscores the important link between dietary fiber and gut health, given previous research that found human patients with cardiovascular disease had diminished levels of gut bacteria and butyrate-producing Roseburia.

Not to mention, the presence of leaky gut, a condition in which unintended substances penetrate the vulnerable intestinal lining of the gut and into the bloodstream, is linked in a huge way to inflammation.

The good news: It doesn’t take much dietary fiber to make a big difference in your health. Increasing your intake of dietary fiber by 1 ounce (30 grams) can lower your cardiovascular risks and help you lose weight too.

In addition to eating a bit more dietary fiber every day, taking a probiotic with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria and a prebiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic can do a lot of good by promoting the natural fermentation process that feeds and protects your gut.

a still life of fruits and nuts

Eating Dietary Fiber Protects Your Brain

Eating a diet rich in dietary fiber — the parts of plant-based foods that can’t be digested — is very beneficial for your health.

It’s pretty easy to do too, especially if you like nuts, fruits, legumes like chickpeas and lentils, popcorn (skip the movie theater butter), oats, seeds and even dark chocolate.

However, these benefits rely on the bacteria in your gut being healthy, diverse and working as it should to digest dietary fiber and produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) like butyrate.

As we’ve learned previously, the production of butyrate increases the use of oxygen, protecting your gut from Salmonella, E. coli and other harmful pathogens.

Eating more dietary fiber may also protect your brain from inflammation that steals memories and impairs normal functioning due to aging, according to a recent study from the University of Illinois’ College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Science (ACES) that appeared in Frontiers in Immunology.

Knowing they were already on the right track in previous studies with a drug-based form of butyrate (sodium butyrate), scientists used dietary fiber in hopes of achieving similar results with older mice.

First, researchers fed young and older mice low- and high-fiber diets, then measured levels of butyrate and other SCFAs in their blood along with inflammatory chemicals in their intestines.

No surprise, feeding both age groups a high-fiber diet boosted their production of SCFAs and butyrate, and intestinal inflammation was reduced so dramatically there was no noticeable differences between both sets of mice.

The ACES team of researchers discovered the brain benefits of a high-fiber diet when they examined 50 unique genes in the microglia (cells located in the brain and spinal cord).

In older mice, the presence of extra butyrate inhibited the amount of harmful chemicals produced by inflamed microglia, including interleukin-1 beta that’s been linked to Alzheimer’s disease in humans.

It doesn’t take much dietary fiber to make a difference in your health. For example, eating just 1 extra ounce (about 30 grams) of dietary fiber a day can relieve constipation, reduce your risks of cardiovascular problems and help you lose weight too, in addition to these newly discovered brain benefits.

Taking a product like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic, with 10 strains of beneficial bacteria (plus a prebiotic), helps your gut process that extra fiber you’ll be eating more efficiently for improved brain health.

How Dietary Fiber Protects Your Health

Eating a variety of foods rich in dietary fiber – whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fresh fruits – is one of the best things you can do to protect your health from disease.

Unlike other components of food, dietary fiber isn’t broken down or absorbed. It passes through your body either as soluble fiber that dissolves in water and lowers cholesterol and glucose levels or insoluble fiber that helps food move through your digestive system.

Scientists at the University of California Davis (UC Davis) discovered another reason to eat more fiber based on how it interacts with your gut bacteria in ways that may protect your body from harmful pathogens, according to a recent study published in Science.

Here’s how it works: As the microbes in your gut process soluble fiber, short-chain fatty acids (better known as butyrate) are created which does a lot of good behind the scenes.

Ideally, butyrate signals to the cells lining the walls of your large bowel to increase its consumption of oxygen, protecting your gut from more harmful bacteria, like E. coli and Salmonella. (Butyrate production keeps gut inflammation in check too.)

Scientists better appreciated the work butyrate does when cells were exposed to antibiotics – definitely no friend to your gut. Antibiotics deplete your body’s reserves of butyrate, which reduces the signaling between butyrate and the gut wall.

This disruption in your gut’s natural signaling allows more oxygen to hang around, letting E. coli and other nasty bugs multiply. In time, all of these behind-the-scenes problems could come to the forefront and make you sick.

“Our research suggests that one of the best approaches to maintaining gut health might be to feed the beneficial microbes in our intestines dietary fiber, their preferred source of sustenance,” said Dr. Andreas Bäumler, professor of medical microbiology and immunology at UC Davis and senior author of the study, according to a press release.

Unfortunately, too many Americans are addicted to Western diets, full of fatty foods with little nutritional value, so they tend to avoid fiber-rich foods at the expense of their health.

That said, it doesn’t take a lot of fiber to make a big difference in your health. Merely increasing your intake of dietary fiber by just 1 ounce (about 30 grams) is enough to help you lose weight and lower your risk of cardiovascular problems, not to mention relieve constipation.

Boosting the amount of fiber you eat every day isn’t hard, especially if you like lentils, beans, artichokes, apples, pears, strawberries and whole grains.

Along with eating more fiber, taking a daily probiotic, like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria and a prebiotic (FOS), may do even more good as both work in sync by triggering the fermentation process that feeds your gut safely and naturally.

A Low-fiber Diet may Harm Your Grandkids

Previously, we’ve discussed the benefits related to including more fiber-rich foods in your daily diet, from relieving constipation to protecting your heart.

The downside of avoiding dietary fiber, however, may be worse and more far-reaching than health professionals ever imagined, according to a Stanford University School of Medicine study appearing in a recent issue of Gut Metabolism.

Much is known about the many ways gut bacteria can be depleted from the human gut — too many antibiotics, more C-section births and less breastfeeding — in industrialized societies like our own, says Dr. Erica Sonnenburg, lead author of the Stanford study.

“We asked ourselves whether the huge difference in dietary fiber intake between traditional and modern populations could, alone, account for it.”

In fact, Dr. Erica Sonnenburg, along with many other scientists, now believe the gut health of people in developed countries like our own is an estimated 30 percent less diverse than those living as hunter-gatherers today, due to the disparity in fiber.

Fiber vs. no fiber

Researchers tested their concerns on mice living in a sterile environment, whose guts were populated with human gut bacteria. Then, the mice were split into two groups. One was fed high-fiber, plant-derived food, while the other was fed a similar chow (similar fat, protein and calories) that contained almost no fiber.

Within two weeks, the differences between both groups became very apparent. Among mice consuming low-to-no fiber, many species of gut bacteria disappeared altogether, while others fell by about 75 percent.

Switching back to a healthier, fiber rich diet didn’t solve the problem entirely for the no-fiber mice either, as a third of the bacterial species that inhabited their guts early on were never restored.

About your grandkids…

So, how can a low-fiber diet affect generations of grandkids?

Once a group of these mice were fed and raised on high-fiber foods and allowed to reproduce, scientists discovered the gut health of each successive generation of animals declined sharply.

By the fourth generation, bacterial diversity in the guts of mice had fallen by nearly 75 percent, compared to the first generation. Even worse, at least two-thirds of the bacterial species in the guts of first generation mice were lost for good.

Stanford researchers managed to engineer a happy ending to this study, albeit with caveats. By giving the fourth generation of depleted mice fecal transplants taken from high-fiber diet mice and feeding them high-fiber diets, the diversity and composition of gut bacteria mirrored those of the control mice within 10 days.

Although changes in human DNA are few as generations pass, the same may not be said about our gut microbiomes over time, says Dr. Sonnenburg, in an interview with Science.

Unfortunately, a fecal transplant isn’t a quick fix for health problems either. Based on a recent case study, a woman became overweight after receiving a fecal transplant from her daughter.

One very safe way to maintain and improve the diversity of your gut is to take a daily probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic that contains multiple strains of beneficial bacteria.

Your children and grandchildren will also benefit by supplementing their health with the multiple strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria contained in EndoMune Junior.

The Western lifestyle is harming your gut health

There’s no denying the typical Western lifestyle — consuming diets high in processed foods, red meat, refined sugars, carbohydrates and saturated fats — has fueled the current obesity epidemic plaguing much of the industrialized world.

Part of the damage done to our bodies is how our health has changed drastically to compensate for eating these calorie-rich, nutrient-poor diets, doing great harm to our gut microbiota.

A trio of 2015 studies show how the human gut health varies according to lifestyle and geography, and, in one case, how quickly one’s gut health can change.

Native populations have more diverse gut microbiomes

Two studies compared the gut microbiomes of natives in various non-industrialized communities around the world to those U.S. residents.

In one study comparing the gut microbiomes of people living in the U.S. to those in non-industrialized Papau New Guinea (published in Cell Reports), scientists discovered Americans lacked some 50 different species of gut bacteria.

Why? Western lifestyles that reduce the ability of bacteria to move from person-to-person (bacterial dispersion) via drinking water or sanitation may have contributed to these differences in gut bacteria, says study co-author Dr. Jens Walter of the University of Alberta Department of Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science.

This discovery implies a connection to the hygiene hypothesis, in which the body’s immunities and gut health are harmed by constant exposure to antibacterial soaps, bottled water, antibiotics and disinfectants.

The real challenge posed by this study is developing methods to reduce the damage done to human gut health without jeopardizing the benefits, says study co-author Dr. Andrew Greenhill of Federation University Australia.

The same lack of gut bacteria was also discovered in another study, appearing in Nature Communications. This study compares Americans living in Norman, Okla., to native farmers and hunter-gatherers living in Peru and the Amazon.

In this study, the genus Treponema, a family of bacteria that has co-existed for millions of years in humans and primates, was missing in industrialized populations.

“In our study, we show that these lost bacteria are in fact multiple species that are likely capable of fermenting fiber and generating short chain fatty acids in the gut. Short chain fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties,” says Cecil Lewis, co-director of the Laboratories of Molecular Anthropology and Microbiome Research at the University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences, in a press release.

“This raises an important question: could these lost Treponema be keystone species that explain the increased risk for autoimmune disorders in industrialized people?”

Multi-national diet changes quickly alter colon cancer risks

Western diets were blamed for rapid gut health changes that raised the risks of colon cancer in a third study appearing in Nature Communications, comparing the health of African-Americans in the U.S. to native Africans living in rural South Africa.

Twenty African-Americans swapped diets with a similar number of native South Africans for two weeks. Before and after the change in diets, all patients were given colonoscopies. Also, researchers examined biological markers that measured a patient’s risks of colon cancer, along with bacterial samples taken from the colon.

At the beginning, nearly half of the Americans participating in the study had polyps (growths in the colon that can evolve into colon cancer). Americans who followed the African diet experienced a reduction in biomarkers for cancer, significantly lessening the inflammation in their colons and an increase in butyrate, a byproduct of metabolizing fiber linked to key anti-cancer benefits.

Conversely, the cancer risk for African patients following a westernized diet, one low in fiber but high in protein and fat, increased dramatically too.

Both sets of findings underscore how a change in diet can quickly and dramatically alter one’s health for better or worse. The obvious difference in the Western diet was the lack of dietary fiber, according to Dr. Jeremy Nicholson, of Imperial College London in a press release.

“This is not new in itself but what is really surprising is how quickly and dramatically the risk markers can switch in both groups following [a] diet change. These findings also raise serious concerns that the progressive westernization of African communities may lead to the emergence of colon cancer as a major health issue.”

Increasing your daily intake of dietary fiber by 30 grams (about 1 ounce) can also help you lose weight and help reduce cardiovascular problems.

Boosting your intake of dietary fiber, along with taking a quality probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic, provides even greater benefits.

Eating more fiber feeds your gut bacteria the starches it needs to jump-start the fermentation process to provide nourishment to the cells lining the colon. As a result, the intestinal tract becomes much healthier and functions more effectively.

Adding a probiotic containing multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune, not only increases the fermentation process of fiber in the gut, it reduces the impact of various diseases.

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