Rooted Project: Gut Health The Key Points!

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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

  • Obesity
  • Bowel cancer
  • IBD
  • IBS

 

How Can You Improve Your Gut Bacteria?

(1)Your diet

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

  • Yogurts
  • Cheese
  • Keffir

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

 

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Dr Megan Rossi, Prof Kevin Whelan, Dr Laura Thomas

 

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