Latest Research

Gut Bacteria Feed On Colonic Mucus Layer In Absence Of Fiber

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In the absence of fiber, gut bacteria eat the protective mucus layer in the colon, the gut’s primary defense mechanism against intestinal pathogens. In a mouse model, the study found that without dietary fiber, both in chronic and intermittent situations, gut bacteria begin consuming secreted mucus glycoproteins as a nutrient source, leading to the destruction of the mucus barrier. In the study, an eroding mucus barrier along with dietary fiber deprivation, gave Citrobacter rodentium, a mucosal pathogen, increased access to the epithelial layer and caused severe colitis (or inflammation of the colon). Cell

→Takeaway: While we are aware of the incredible benefits of fiber on gut and overall health, this study sheds light on why fiber is so important on a microbial level and how its absence negatively and directly affects the gut and its ability to fight pathogens. The recommended fiber intake is 14 grams per 1,000 calories, or 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men per day. Get your fiber from plant-based whole foods that come from the ground. Your colonic mucus layer will thank you!

Leslie Ann received her BA from the University of Notre Dame and has a Master’s degree in Public Health and Nutrition from Johns Hopkins University. With over a decade of experience working in the health and wellness field as a nutritionist, health writer, and project manager, Leslie Ann is the backbone of the Gutbliss team, overseeing operations as well as the strategic mission of Gutbliss Rx, and authoring much of the content on the site. As a certified yoga teacher and personal trainer, she is an avid believer in integrative methods to treat and heal the body.

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