Fiber: The Most Important “Essential” Nutrient

How Fiber Effects Every Aspect of Your Health

By Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN
Scientific Director, Essential Formulas


Fiber, a vital essential nutrient is the most severe nutritional deficiency in America. People sometimes claim that fiber is not a nutrient because humans cannot digest dietary fiber. Hence, we get no nutritional value from fiber. However, people need to realize and gain a greater understanding of the fact that fiber is the primary food for the beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract. Every time you eat, you are feeding 100 trillion guests.

Fiber is one of our most important essential nutrients and the most serious nutritional deficiency in America. Some health experts claim that fiber is not a nutrient because humans cannot digest dietary fiber and it offers no nutritional value. However, it is important for people to realize and gain a greater understanding of the fact that fiber is the primary food for the beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract. Every time you eat, you are feeding 100 trillion guests. This explains why dietary fiber is so important, because it is the food for your probiotic bacteria.

Thousands of studies have been published in the past 20 years presenting how the microbiome (your gut bacteria) play a critical role in regulating health. It is imperative to realize that what you eat determines the ratio between beneficial probiotic bacteria to harmful bacteria in your GI tract. Here are three steps that are absolutely essential for good health:

Diversity of
Dietary fiber
= Diversity of
probiotic bacteria
= Diversity of
postbiotic metabolites

Beneficial bacteria use a process called fermentation to digest dietary fibers and create compounds called postbiotic metabolites. Scientists are discovering that the postbiotic metabolites produced by probiotic bacteria are ‘master health regulating compounds’ that influence every organ system in the human body, including the immune system and the brain.

Humans must consume a wide range of different types of fiber-rich foods in order to be healthy. This is due to the distinctive types of fibers that support the growth of specific probiotic bacteria. A diversity of dietary fiber is the ONLY way to create and maintain a diverse microbiome, which results in a wide range of diverse probiotic bacteria.

Over 99% of the bacteria in your intestinal tract reside in the colon. Numerous studies report that colonic bacteria regulate your health, immune system, and play a major role in determining future health conditions. Your colonic probiotic bacteria determine your risks for diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, cancer, inflammatory conditions, auto-immune disease, and obesity.i When beneficial probiotic bacteria dominate (a healthy microbiome), good health is the result.

The Fiber Gap:
A recent article titled The Fiber Gap and the Disappearing Gut Microbiome: Implications for Human Nutrition discusses how low fiber diets are affecting people’s microbiome and, ultimately, their health. The authors of this study report that an alarming 90% of children and adults in America DO NOT consume the recommended amount of daily dietary fiber.ii,iii The lack of sufficient fiber in most diets means that millions of people who take probiotic supplements are not getting optimal benefits from doing so, because if you do not feed your probiotics well, they will not thrive, survive or optimize good health.

Your “army” of 100 trillion bacteria in your colon regulate your digestion, the absorption of nutrients, and the production of postbiotic metabolites. Each of these probiotic-regulated factors is critical for good health.

Ingesting postbiotic metabolites is the optimum method to create and maintain a healthy microbiome. The most effective way to ingest health-promoting postbiotic metabolites is by regularly taking Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics®.

Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics are created utilizing a multi-year fermentation process that allows bacteria time to ferment fibers and create postbiotic metabolites. Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics deliver a combination of probiotics, prebiotics and over 500 postbiotic metabolites. The best way to maintain a healthy microbiome is to consume a diverse array of fiber-rich foods AND to take a supplement containing postbiotic metabolites like Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics.

 


i Lynch SV, and Pedersen O. The Human Intestinal Microbiome in Health and Disease. N Engl J Med 2016;375:2369-2379.
ii Clemens R. et al. Filling America’s Fiber Intake Gap: Summary of a Roundtable to Probe Realistic Solutions with a Focus on Grain-Based Foods. Journal of Nutrition. 2012 July; 142(7): 1390S-1401S.
iii Cho I, and Blaser MJ. The human microbiome: at the interface of health and disease. Nature Reviews Genetics. 2012;13:260-270