null Skip to main content

Sep 4th 2013

Fiber - Essential for a Healthy Gut-Immune System

. . . prebiotic fiber feeds probiotics When most people think of fiber, they think of alleviating constipation. Or perhaps they think of fiber in connection with weight loss, with normalizing blood sugar levels, or with lowering cholesterol. While fiber is useful in all of these respects, perhaps its most beneficial effect on health is in providing food for helpful bugs in our intestines. These helpful bugs, called probiotics, play a major role in maintaining a strong immune system, over two-thirds of which is located in our large and small intestines. We have trillions of bacteria living there – up to 3½ pounds of them. Together, they can be compared to one of the body’s organs, like the heart or the lungs; they are that important to the way our bodies function. They help us to digest food, they manufacture certain vitamins, and they protect our gut lining and thus prevent “leaky gut,” a situation where undigested food particles, toxins and pathogens “leak” through the weakened intestinal walls into the bloodstream where they are carried throughout the body and create all kinds of havoc. Probiotics also form a crucial part of our immune system by competing for space with pathogens, including secreting chemicals that poison and kill pathogens. So it pays abundant health dividends for us to take care of our probiotic population, and one of the best ways to do this is to get plenty of fiber. Fiber acts as a “prebiotic,” or as food for the probiotics. By definition, fiber is carbohydrate that humans can’t digest – we don’t have the right enzymes. This means that we can’t convert fiber into usable calories. But probiotics can. Probiotics break down fiber through fermentation into short-chain fatty acids that they use as fuel. These acids also lower the pH in the colon, creating a more acid environment. Whereas maintaining systemic alkalinity is necessary for good health, there are certain areas in the body – the stomach and the colon – where acidity is desirable as it kills pathogens. Although nutritional authorities currently recommend from 20-35 grams of fiber a day, the average American gets only about half of that. Meanwhile Raymond Francis believes traditional societies got 40-60 grams daily. Most traditional societies also included fermented foods in their cuisines, like yogurt, miso, sauerkraut and others, that were potent sources of probiotics. Today, it’s difficult to get adequate fiber from the diet alone. Most fruits and vegetables provide from 2-4 grams per serving, and legumes and beans are a particularly good source, at about 7 grams in each ½ cup. For a more extensive list of fiber sources click here.  We recommend supplementing both fiber and probiotics. Our Dietary Fiber Formula provides some of the best-documented of the prebiotic fibers, glucomannan, FOS, gum acacia and oat fiber, known for increasing good bacteria, crowding out bad bacteria, reversing candida/fungal overgrowth, and improving digestion and absorption of nutrients (especially minerals) while enhancing detoxification and elimination of waste poisons. Guaranteed to be free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), this 100% vegetarian formula contains no sugars, no harsh and irritating fibers like psyllium, no dysbiosis promoting hydrolyzed guar, and no stimulants like senna or caffeine. Remember, the road to health is paved with good intestines! Take care of your gut, and trillions of probiotics living there will take care of you.

Categories

Tags

Disclaimer

Information contained in NewsClips articles should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.