How Fiber and Friendly Flora Help Digestive Immunity

Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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How Fiber and Friendly Flora Help Digestive Immunity
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Researchers have demonstrated a key mechanism that explains one way in which fiber and friendly flora help boost the efficiency of the immune system. The finding is of specific importance for reducing digestive inflammation and risk for autoimmune problems.

When friendly flora ferment dietary fiber they produce a short chain fatty acid called butyrate (also known as butyric acid). Butyrate has long been known to be important for digestive health. It is a direct energy source for digestive cells and signals DNA to reduce the risk for colon cancer. The new study shows for the first time that it is butyrate that helps naïve T cells develop into the important regulatory T cells.

“Regulatory T cells are important for the containment of excessive inflammatory responses as well as autoimmune disorders. Therefore these findings could be applicable for the prevention and treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), allergy and autoimmune disease,” said Dr Hiroshi Ohno.

While butyrate is available as a dietary supplement, it is not very popular since it has a putrid smell. It is far easier to naturally increase your own production by taking supplemental fiber and a good acidophilus supplement. There is currently an epidemic of inflammatory digestive problems going on in America. This is one easy strategy to help nip health deteriorating issues in the bud.

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