The Importance of Fibre
What is fibre: chains of sugars that humans can’t digest- HOWEVER the bacteria in our bowel can digest some types of bacteria.
Increasing your fibre intake by 7g/day can lead to:
- 8% decrease in bowel cancer
- 6% decrease in T2DM
- 9% CVD
- 9% heart attacks
- 7% reduction in strokes
7g of fibre looks like = half a tin of baked beans
= a baked potato with skin
= a high fibre breakfast cereal
The Importance of Gut Bacteria
There is an increasing body of evidence that shows that the gut bacteria have a huge impact on our health.
There is great potential for variation in the types of bacteria in our gut between individuals – and now people are researching whether the presence or absence of certain bacteria can predispose us to certain diseases.
An imbalance in gut bacteria has been found in syndromes including
- Bowel cancer
How Can You Improve Your Gut Bacteria?
Evidence from cross-sectional studies show that the diet you eat has a significant impact on the types of bacteria in your gut – people who eat different diets have different gut bacteria.
Evidence about to be published this year shows that people with a high adherence to a Mediterranean diet have a diverse microbiome, with many types of bacteria performing different functions.
(2) Probiotics and Prebiotics
What is a probiotic?
Live microbial bacteria that you drink – adding new beneficial bacteria to your gut.
Probiotics are also present in naturally fermented foods
Do probiotics work?
Some probiotics only work for specific diseases and some probiotics don’t work in the same way for everyone.
Evidence shows that a probiotic will only increase its own bacterial populations in your gut but it won’t necessarily increase other types of bacteria.
What is a Prebiotic?
Non-digestible parts of foods that feed and encourage growth of types bacteria that improve health
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Is the microbiome affected in IBS?
It depends; studies have shown that some patients with IBS have a drastically altered micro biome compared to non IBS patients whereas other patients have a ‘healthy’ microbiome.
Can probiotics help?
9 systematic reviews (the highest quality evidence available) show:
Probiotics will improve symptoms of IBS, however, the improvement seen isn’t huge compared to other interventions so don’t expect dramatic results.
Low FODMAP DIET AND IBS
50% and 76% people following low FODMAP will experience symptom relief in IBS
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Unfortunately no evidence for symptom improvement using fibre, probiotic or prebiotic