How a Low Fibre Diet Can Cause Irreversible Damage to Gut Bacteria

Woman holding model of human intestines in front of body on white background. Female hands showing artificial model of lower human tissue and organs in front of body. The plastic model is isolated on shirt as white background. This model shows the real size of this part of the body, it is used in high school to teach teens biology and science.

For many years, humans have thrived on a diet that is made up of plant-based fibre and healthy amounts of protein and fats. However, due to fast-paced industrialization as well as the popularity of fast foods, our consumption of fibre has plummeted.

A study from Stanford University School of Medicine that was published in Nature shows that there are very disturbing implications regarding the effects of the lack of dietary fibre in our diet. The findings of the said study are troubling as they imply that once someone experiences the extinction of beneficial bacteria species, even proper diet may not be sufficient to bring them back. But what is even more disturbing is how this irreversible loss of beneficial microbes may be passed down to four generations later.

You may be thinking, why should we be alarmed? How do gut bacteria actually benefit us?

As you probably know, our intestinal ecosystem is made up of trillions of bacteria in thousands of varying species. These are acquired through exposure throughout the course of a lifetime. Many of these bacteria are not just beneficial but crucial to our survival as they ward off pathogens that cause diseases, strengthen our immune system, assist in the development of tissues, and last but not the least, play an active role in our mental processes.

Fibre which is indigestible by human enzymes is the primary food source for friendly gut bacteria. You can get fibre from vegetables, fruits, oatmeal, bran, nuts, and whole grains.

Unfortunately, the popularity of processed convenience foods which are very low in fibre that started in the 1950s has resulted in our ingesting  just about 15 grams of fibre each day. That’s roughly a tenth of what our ancestors consumed.

There are also studies that show rural agrarian populations have more diverse bacterial populations compared to those who live in more industrialized countries. Moreover, they often possess bacteria that are missing from the intestinal tracts of people with a low-fibre diet.

Already, the low-fibre diet we have right now is taking a toll on our health. Researchers have found that there is a range of conditions associated with a less diverse intestinal microbiota, including autism, asthma, allergies, diabetes, and obesity.

It seems like the easy solution is to eat a high-fibre diet. It’s also important that you try to live a healthier lifestyle. You can rid your body of toxins, work on losing weight, and start on an anti-aging program. Whichever step you want to take, Sloan Natural Health Center can help you with that. We can schedule you for a consultation to see which program will benefit you the most!