Fiber and your health: not all are created equal

Credit: Unsplash+.

We often hear that eating fiber is good for us. It’s in many of the foods we eat – like fruits, vegetables, and grains.

But did you know that not all fibers act the same in our bodies? A study from Stanford University digs deeper into this.

Understanding Different Fibers

Fiber is a part of plants that our bodies can’t digest. Two common types are inulin and arabinoxylan. However, there’s been some debate about how these fibers actually affect our health.

This made a group of researchers, led by Professor Michael Snyder, curious. They decided to study these fibers to see how our bodies react to them.

What They Did

The researchers did a detailed study with healthy people. These people ate inulin or arabinoxylan in different amounts over several weeks.

The scientists looked at things like the participants’ gut bacteria and body markers to understand the fiber’s impact.

What They Found Out

Here’s the interesting part: arabinoxylan seemed to be good at lowering the “bad” cholesterol in our blood. But high amounts of inulin? Not so great. It caused problems like inflammation in some people.

Yet, everyone didn’t react the same way. This means that how one person’s body responds to a type of fiber might be different from another’s.

One cool thing they noticed was that when people ate a lot of fiber, their gut bacteria made more of certain chemicals.

These chemicals help break down bad cholesterol. This gives a clue that our gut bacteria might be a big player in controlling cholesterol.

Why Does This Matter?

This research tells us that not all fibers are the same. Some might be good for certain health benefits, while others might not be great if taken in large amounts.

It also hints at an interesting idea: we might need to think about fiber in a personal way. Maybe in the future, we’ll have diets designed specially based on how our bodies react to different fibers.

The big message here is to remember that when it comes to health, one size doesn’t fit all.

This research got support from some big names in science, including the Stanford Center for Genomics and the National Institutes of Health.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about berry that can prevent cancer, diabetes, and obesity, and natural blood pressure controllers: 12 foods that lower blood pressure.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about diet to fight diabetic eye damage, and results showing these antioxidants could help reduce dementia risk.

Follow us on Twitter for more articles about this topic.

Copyright © 2023 Scientific Diet. All rights reserved.