A diet missing soluble fibre promotes inflammation in the intestines and poor gut health, leading to weight gain, suggests new research. Moreover, incorporating soluble fibre back into the diet can restore gut health, the research conducted in mice showed.
Foods rich in soluble fibre include oatmeal, nuts, beans, apples, and blueberries.
“If our observations were to prove applicable to humans, it would suggest that encouraging consumption of foods with high soluble fibre content may be a means to combat the epidemic of metabolic disease,” the researchers said.
The research team at Georgia State University examined the effects of diets varying in amounts of soluble and insoluble fibres, protein and fat on the structure of the intestines, fat accumulation and weight gain in mice.
The researchers found that mice on a diet lacking soluble fibre gained weight and had more fat compared with mice on a diet including soluble fibre. The intestines of mice on the soluble fibre-deficient diet were also shorter and had thinner walls. These structural changes were observed as soon as two days after starting the diet. Introducing soluble fibre into
the diet restored gut structure. Supplementing with soluble fibre insulin restored the intestinal structure in mice on the soluble fibre-deficient diet. Mice that received cellulose, an insoluble fibre, however, did not show improvements. The data suggest a difference in health benefits between soluble and insoluble dietary fibres, the researchers stated. The study was published in the journal American Journal of Physiology.