You may wonder why you have to consider feeding not only yourself but your microbiota. Or is it your microbiome? It’s time for a defining moment.
The fact of the matter is that microbiome and microbiota continue to be used interchangeably to mean the different kinds of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses and other microorganisms that are naturally present in the human body. It’s a “you say biome, I say biota” situation. But there’s a difference.
The microbiome refers to the genetic makeup of your microorganisms, whereas the microbiota refers to your inner creatures as a community of microorganisms. From here on, the word microbiota will be used indicate what needs to be fed and why.
Your New Organ
Body organs play pivotal roles in the health of your mental and physical well-being. Vast amounts of research point to the vital importance of the microbiota, so much so that some scientists have determined it to be another body organ.
Just like specific nutrients that support organs such as the heart, liver and brain, fiber is the nutrient that particularly boosts bacteria, the good kind of course! Good bacteria seem to be the “ inner health care practitioner” part of this new organ, and they thrive on a nutrient that you don’t digest. Interesting, no? And the higher your fiber intake, the happier you make your little health care practitioners, which ferment fiber in your colon.
Not all fiber can be fermented by your microbiota. They’re picky eaters and prefer prebiotic fiber. Bacterial fermentation of prebiotic fiber produces short-chain fatty acids, which get circulated in your blood and provide benefits for other body organs, including the system of organs that make up your gastrointestinal tract.
To quote a study published in Advances in Nutrition (July 2019), the physiological effects of short-chain fatty acids include “serving as a source of energy for colonocytes, curbing glycemic response and satiety, promoting weight loss, enhancing mineral absorption, reducing systemic inflammation, and improving intestinal health . . ..” Talk about beneficial bacterial output!
And there’s a lot more. A review article published in 2019 in the journal, Current Developments in Nutrition, summarizes eight key health benefits of prebiotic fiber:
|1. Increases in Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli|
|2. Production of beneficial metabolites|
|3. Increases in calcium absorption|
|4. Decreases in protein fermentation|
|5. Decreases in pathogenic bacteria populations|
|6. Decreases in allergy risk|
|7. Effects on gut barrier permeability|
|8. Improved immune system defense|
Point 8 is especially important given the pandemic situation the world is presently struggling to get through.
Getting proper nutrition—primarily whole food from fiber-rich plants—means you are getting the right kind of fuel to support your immune system, microbiota and overall well-being.
Fit ’n Fiber
AIM has a fiber supplement that contains three types of prebiotic fiber: acacia, guar gum and konjac. Fit ’n Fiber delivers 10 grams of fiber per serving, 8 grams of which is prebiotic fiber that feeds your good bacteria. Just like other macronutrients that your body needs in large amounts, when you fit in fiber as a substantial part of your nutritional intake, you are providing proper nutrition for you and your microbiota.
The AIM Companies has been dedicated to improving the quality of people’s lives with life-changing products like BarleyLife and Herbal Fiberblend and by rewarding passionate Members with a free-enterprise compensation plan.