New York : Certain fibres contained in prepared foods such as cereals, cereal bars, baking mixes, and drinks may cause a shift towards beneficial bacteria in the gut and assist in weight loss when made part of a long-term, daily diet, says a new research.
The researchers focused on two fibres – polydextrose, which is a common fibre food additive and soluble corn fibre.
“We need more fibre in our diets from lots of different sources,” said Hannah Holscher from the University of Illinois in the US.
“These two fibres look like they could be beneficial when included in a balanced diet along with whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes,” Holscher added.
The researchers found that there were significant shifts in the gut bacterial populations with fibre supplements and when the supplements were stopped populations seemed to go back to where they were before.
What was most surprising and novel in the recent study was a shift in the Bacteroidetes:Firmicutes ratio towards more Bacteroidetes, something the researchers had not viewed previously.
“This was of particular interest to us because other research works have shown that having more Bacteroidetes may be beneficial because the higher that proportion is, the individual tends to be leaner. With higher Firmicutes, that individual tends to be more obese,” Holscher said.
The researchers used whole-genome sequencing to explore the full range of bacterial genomic information in the gut after fibre supplementation.
Previous research has shown that dietary fibre can also help reduce the risk of colon cancer, type 2 diabetes and other diseases.
The study appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.