Fiber Does Your Body Good

An apple a day may keep the doctor away but according to a group of Australian researchers, a fiber-rich diet could hold the key to keeping asthma, diabetes and arthritis at bay. Scientists at Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research say that fiber boosts the immune system so it can better combat inflammatory diseases.

When foods high in fiber – such as dried fruit and beans – reach the gut, bacteria convert them to compounds known as short chain fatty acids. These acids are known to alleviate some inflammatory disease in the bowel. The research team worked with scientists in Australia, the U.S. and Brazil to demonstrate that a molecule used by immune cells and previously shown to bind short chain fatty acids also functioned as an anti-inflammatory.

The research, published in a recent edition of Nature, indicated that diet may have profound effects on immune responses or inflammatory diseases.

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