Today we wanted to share with you important information about the role prebiotics play in helping patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)!
Our gut is filled with microbes (bacteria, viruses, and more), which all work together to make up our microbiome! Our microbiome breaks down food, and houses at least 70% of our immune system! This explains why good gut health is known as a pivotal piece to support proper immune function.
Among healthy people, we expect to see a diverse microbiome, meaning a variety of different bacterial strains are present in order to keep the ideal balance of good to bad bacteria in check. But did you know that people with IBD tend to lack this important diversity? They experience what we call dysbiosis: low diversity in the microbiome.
Now that we know dysbiosis of the gut is a problem for patients with IBD, we also can see how diversifying the microbiome can balance the inflamed gut, helping those with inflammation and other signs and symptoms of IBD.
We also know that prebiotics play an important role in keeping the gut healthy; but how exactly does this work? And how do they specifically help those with IBD?
Prebiotic soluble fibers, such as those found in our Daily Uplifter (Jerusalem Artichoke inulin and XOS prebiotic (xylo-oligosaccharides)) and our Gut Happy Cookies (lupini beans), are non-digestible. This means that they are not broken down in our stomach until they reach the end part of your colon, where the bacteria in your gut feed on them and they ferment.
This fermentation leads to the production of short chain fatty acids (SCFA’s) in your gut, and one particular SCFA to note, is butyrate. Butyrate has been proven to have great gut-nourishing and anti-inflammatory effects, which is perfect for decreasing dysbiosis and inflammation in those with IBD!
Take a look here at this scientific article that shows the benefits of fiber;
Studies on animals with IBD have shown that consuming inulin, one of the prebiotic fibers in our Daily Uplifter, significantly lowered inflammation levels in their colons! Plus, if you need more convincing about the benefits of fiber (all fiber, not only prebiotic fibers) on IBD, a study with more than 1,000 human participants showed that welcoming fiber into one’s diet leads to fewer IBD flares!
People with IBD might feel nervous (understandably so!) about consuming fiber, but these studies have shown that fibers (prebiotic soluble fibers and insoluble fibers) actually offer great benefits to those with IBD! While our prebiotic cookies contain a lot of fiber (47% of the RDA per serve) and at first glance may seem overwhelming, the recipe is a healthy combination of both types of fibers and resistant starches, creating an ideal blend for a happy, nourished gut!
Another nutrient that has fiber-like benefits is called resistant starch;
Resistant starch (RS), another gut nourishing nutrient found in our Daily Uplifter (in the form of green banana flour) and our Gut Happy Cookies (in the form of soluble tapioca fiber resistant starch and tigernut flour), has also shown huge benefits for IBD!
Resistant Starch acts similarly to prebiotic fibers where it is not broken down until it gathers in the colon. Resistant Starch acts as a prebiotic, is selectively fermented by the good gut bacteria, and then helps produce butyrate (the anti-inflammatory, super-hero gut post-biotic) and improve the all important, microbiome diversity!
We also found some articles focusing on the great benefits of RS:
In an animal based study, Resistant Starch was shown to increase butyrate production and suppress symptoms of IBD, where here in another study , it was shown that green banana flour, when taken in combination with IBD medication, most efficiently improves IBD symptoms!
Fibers, Prebiotic Fibers and Resistant Starch are clearly promising additions to your diet if you suffer from IBD, and by boosting your microbiome’s diversity and reducing inflammation, you are bound to FEEL the gut health benefits!
Of course we are not suggesting you replace your medication with prebiotic, and be sure to consult your doctor with any specific personal questions. But, as you can see, prebiotics are definitely an effective, accessible and tasty booster you can quite easily add to your diet to support improving IBD symptoms!
We hope this article was informative and helpful, especially for those with IBD!
In good gut health,