Research Shows Dietary Fibers Influence Gut Bacteria Towards Healthier Behavior

Understanding the behaviour of gut bacteria

It is well-known that dietary fibres can alter the composition and quantities of bacteria in our gut microbiome. However, looking merely at composition and abundance of gut microbial species will not tell us much about their impact on our health.

“The gut microbiome research field has had a strong focus on assessing effects e.g. of diet on the quantity of potentially good or bad gut bacteria, but often neglect that diet can regulate the gut bacteria’s activity without necessarily making major changes in the quantity of bacterial species in the colon,” says an associate professor at DTU National Food Institute, Martin Frederik Laursen.

So, dietary fibres not only help modify the types of bacteria in the gut, leading to a healthier composition, they also influence the behaviour of gut bacteria in ways that promote health.

“As a research community we need to change focus from viewing gut bacteria and their abundances strictly as either good or bad – to instead understand how we make our gut bacteria behave good or bad.” says Martin Frederik Laursen.

This understanding can help scientists develop better dietary recommendations that keep our gut healthy and prevent diseases.