A review article entitled “Prolonged Isolated Soluble Dietary Fibre Supplementation in Overweight and Obese Patients: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials (1) illustrates a positive effect on weight loss with a wide variety of soluble fibers even with short term use. Endpoints such as improvements in insulin resistance, better elimination and promoting larger diversity of microorganisms are considered possible mechanisms. Prebiotics can promote specific species of bacteria that in turn create an important postbiotic – short chain fatty acids.
Short chain fatty acids (2) can regulate inflammation, normal cell breakdown, oxidative stress and retain the function of the blood brain barrier, thus having profound protective effects for the central nervous system.
Using a prebiotic, guar gum, (3) derived from the guar bean, improved the production of short chain fatty acids. Guar is a complex carbohydrate and is frequently added to foods as a thickener. Guar (4) can improve the populations of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus. Guar slows the gastric transit time and can help with diarrhea. The satiation hormone cholecystokinase increases resulting in a comfortable full and satisfied feeling. Guar improves absorption of minerals including calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium.
The many prebiotic soluble fibers and food determine the quality and diversity of the microbiome. The various species in turn produce postbiotics such as short chain fatty acids. We are designed to live in harmony with the microbial world and we are slowly starting to understand..
- Valentina V et al, “Prolonged Isolated Soluble Dietary Fibre Supplementation in Overweight and Obese Patients: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35807808/
- Yin Dong et al “The role of short-chain fatty acids in central nervous system diseases” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35596843/
- Stuart, Maria et al, “Molecular weight of guar gum affects short-chain fatty acid profile in model intestinal fermentation” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16967518/
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