How Is Fiber Processed in Our Body

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Good BacteriaTill now little was know about how Fiber is processed in our bodies.  However in recent years there have been many studies and researches going on in this direction to find out more. Now scientists at University of Michigan Medical School  discovered some amazing stuff after studying how certain strains of Bacteria helps in breaking down fiber more easily than others.

It has been known that fiber has important role in digestion but how Bacteria in the intestines work on the fiber was not that well know.

Here are some of the facts they discovered

1. Number of Bacteria is 10 times the body cells. They number in Trillions in our guts.

2. These bacteria are very important for our health and well being and they are known as microbiota.

3. One of the group of bacteria is known as Bacteroidetes, and they are capable of digesting fiber. They can digest complex sugar known as Xyloglucans.  Till now it was thought that fiber cannot be digested.  These Bacteria can do this because of a special gene sequence they posess and the good news is most people have this Bacteria.

4. This study has the potential to give a great momentum to the nutritional studies and the field of probiotics.

Implication of this Study

Scientists have better understanding of how enzymes break down plant material and possibly how it could affect the bio fuel study.  They also have a better understanding of friendly Bacteria and how it could be useful in solving many health issues, particularly of the of stomach and the intestines.

This can also possibly help in improving commercially sold fibers such as Psyllium and its commercial brands such as Metamucil or Citucel and make them more effective and beneficial for larger sections of population.


Nature Magazine

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