Fermentable Functional Fiber May Boost Intestinal Health
Fiber is essential for good gut health, but the majority of Americans do not meet daily fiber recommendations. A recent study suggests that taking a daily supplement of fermentable functional fiber may help boost levels of bifidobacteria in the intestine and feces, as well as increase stool bulk.
Participants in the study included 51 healthy adults who did not have adequate fiber in their diets. Over the course of three weeks, they were instructed to consume either 0 g, 15 g, or 25 grams of fermentable functional fiber daily. This was followed by a two-week washout period, after which they underwent one of the other interventions.
At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted that daily total fiber intakes exceeded recommendations for the 15 g and 25 g groups. They also noted increased stool wet weight and a 38% increase in fecal bifidobacteria count in the 25 g group.
Researchers from the University of Florida conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on September 21, 2018, in Nutrition Research.
There are two type of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber can be found naturally in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium. Insoluble fiber can be found in whole wheat and grains, brown rice, fruit, broccoli, cabbage and dark leafy vegetables.