Flaxseed fiber improves gut health and helps tackle obesity, study suggests

636850550034806390gut belly.jpg

06 Feb 2019 --- Flaxseed fibers that ferment in the gut influence microbiota that can improve metabolic health, while protecting against diet-induced obesity. This is according to a study published in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism. The study was carried out in mice and the data suggest that flaxseed supplementation may positively benefit obese individuals in reducing weight and improving glucose tolerance.

Gut microbiota play a significant role in weight regulation and glucose tolerance, which is how the body processes sugar. Fiber is broken down in the gut via a process called fermentation. This process may positively affect the digestive system by increasing fatty acids, which in turn reduce the production of fat tissue in the body and improve immune function. 

Previous research has shown that fiber-rich flaxseed may enhance cholesterol levels and ameliorate colon inflammation. However, there previously was not as much research on the fermentability of flaxseed and its effect on the gut. 

Researchers studied mice assigned to four different diets:

  • a standard diet that contained 4.6 percent soy-based fiber (“control”).
  • a high-fat diet that contained no fiber (“high-fat”).
  • a high-fat diet that contained 10 percent indigestible cellulose fiber (“cellulose”).
  • a high-fat diet that contained 10 percent flaxseed fiber (“flaxseed”).

Click to EnlargeThe research team measured the amount of oxygen the mice used, levels of carbon dioxide produced, food and water consumed and energy expended. Glucose tolerance was also measured near the end of the trial. 

Twelve weeks later, the team examined the animals’ cecal contents, bacteria and other biological materials in the pouch that forms the beginning of the large intestine (cecum). The high-fat group had fewer bacteria associated with improved metabolic health, lower levels of beneficial fatty acids and more of a bacterium linked to obesity when compared to the other groups. 

Bacteria levels in both the cellulose and flaxseed groups returned to healthier levels when compared to the high-fat group. The flaxseed group was more physically active and had less weight gain than the other high-fat diet groups. 

Mice that received flaxseed supplements also had better glucose control and levels of beneficial fatty acids that were comparable to the healthy control group. When examining the cecal contents, the research team found evidence that the bacteria present ferment fibers from the thick, glue-like layer of the flaxseed shell. The bacteria that perform fermentation then produce more beneficial fatty acids.

The researchers say the data suggest that flaxseed fiber supplementation affects the host metabolism by increasing energy expenditure and reducing obesity as well as improving glucose tolerance. They note that future research should be directed towards understanding the relative contribution of the different microbes and delineate underlying mechanisms for how flaxseed fibers affect the host metabolism.

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Health & Nutrition News

Gut appeal: Healthy microbiome thanks to food processing waste

15 Feb 2019 --- New research from Maastricht University (UM) has uncovered a novel use for waste from the food processing industry: boosting the microbiome. Using the TNO in vitro model of the colon (TIM-2), research by Carlota Bussolo de Souza has shown that fermenting fiber from fruit and vegetable peel can help improve the gut flora of people with obesity.

Health & Nutrition News

“Ready for the keto comeback”: Abitec Corporation pegs keto-friendly ingredient range

15 Feb 2019 --- Nutritional and functional lipids manufacturer Abitec Corporation is “close to launching” an MCT powder on a fiber carrier that will be keto friendly and dairy free. This comes as there is huge market potential for its portfolio of keto-friendly ingredients, as the diet’s popularity continues to spike.

Health & Nutrition News

Weekly roundup: Ulrick & Short launches “scilia” range of insoluble fiber, PURIS partners with Midwestern BioAg

15 Feb 2019 --- In nutrition news this week, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Director General, Dr. Shenggen Fan, has become a member of the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Food Systems for Nutrition. Food Supplements Europe (FSE) welcomed leading European trade bodies AFEPADI, SANI, SFSA and SISTE, and Australia-based Swisse Wellness in order to make positive contributions to the supplement sector. PURIS has entered a partnership with Midwestern BioAg (MBA) to promote organic farming in the US and Ulrick & Short has launched “scilia”, a range of insoluble fiber ingredients.

Health & Nutrition News

Gut bacteria and depression: “Compelling” further support to the “gut brain axis” notion

14 Feb 2019 --- Researchers have established a correlation between depression and a group of neurotransmitter-producing bacteria found in the human gut, further expanding clinical evidence of the gut-brain axis. Interestingly, an inverse relationship between specific gut bacteria and brain activity in areas connected to depression were identified in the animal study. Published in Nature Microbiology, the findings could lead to the development of bacterial therapeutics for depression, including a growing role for probiotics, but significant work is first required, the researchers note.

Health & Nutrition News

Foods to kill? Ultra-processed foods linked to increased mortality risk, study finds

13 Feb 2019 --- A 10 percent increase in the consumption of ultra-processed foods has been linked to a 14 percent increased risk in all-cause mortality, including obesity and cancer, according to a new Journal of the American Medical Association study. Published at a time when aspects such as fat, salt, sugar, and their impact on overall health, are under intense government and industry scrutiny, the study highlights the repercussions of a diet high in processed foods and their possible correlation with negative health outcomes.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/flaxseed-fiber-improves-gut-health-and-helps-tackle-obesity-study-suggests.html