High Fiber Intake Linked to Short Chain Fatty Acids
A new study published in the journal, Gut, notes that eating a lot of fiber-rich foods, such as fruit, vegetables, and legumes is linked to a rise in health promoting short chain fatty acids. These foods that are typical in a Mediterranean diet include acetate, propionate, and butyrate which are produced by bacteria in the gut during fermentation of insoluble fiber from dietary plant matter. These Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) have been linked to health promoting effects, including a reduced risk of inflammatory diseases, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
The study included 153 adults who were omnivores, vegetarians or vegans that lived in cities in Italy that were far away from each other. Most (88 percent) of the vegans, almost two thirds of the vegetarians (65 percent) and around a third (30 percent) of the omnivores consistently ate a predominantly Mediterranean diet.
The results of the study included that higher levels of the short chain fatty acids were found in vegans, vegetarians and those who consistently followed a Mediterranean diet. Importantly the researchers note that SCFA levels can naturally vary as a result of age and gender, and their study did not set out to establish any causal links.
However, they concluded, “We provide here tangible evidence of the impact of a healthy diet and a Mediterranean dietary pattern on gut microbiota and on the beneficial regulation of microbial metabolism towards health maintenance in the host.”
Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.