What is the Best Fiber Supplement?

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Manage episode 262995145 series 2687172
Player FM과 저희 커뮤니티의 Dr. Nikolas Hedberg, D.C. - Functional Medicine Researcher, Dr. Nikolas Hedberg, and D.C. - Functional Medicine Researcher 콘텐츠는 모두 원 저작자에게 속하며 Player FM이 아닌 작가가 저작권을 갖습니다. 오디오는 해당 서버에서 직접 스트리밍 됩니다. 구독 버튼을 눌러 Player FM에서 업데이트 현황을 확인하세요. 혹은 다른 팟캐스트 앱에서 URL을 불러오세요.
Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet but like anything we consume, too much or too little may be problematic. Fiber has been touted as an extremely important nutrient but is it really as beneficial as it is purported to be? When used at the right time in the right individual, fiber can be a game changer for healing the gut and improving overall health. Let’s discuss the health benefits of fiber and the best fiber supplements if supplementation is necessary. What is Fiber? Fiber is a compound found in food categorized as soluble and insoluble as well as fermentability. Fermentability is how well your gut bacteria can eat the fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves well in water and insoluble fiber does not. This means insoluble fiber is much harder for your gut bacteria to eat and to ferment than soluble fiber so we usually start with soluble fiber supplements. Soluble fiber has higher fermentability than insoluble fiber so it feeds your gut bugs much better but this can lead to more gas and bloating. Insoluble fiber has a greater chance of irritating your intestines so we usually don’t start with this type of fiber. However, insoluble fiber has low fermentability so it usually causes less bloating and gas than soluble fiber. Most studies show that soluble fiber works better than insoluble fiber for most conditions. What Conditions can Fiber Help Treat or Prevent? Fiber research is difficult to properly perform because there are many variables in each person’s life that can affect their disease risk. And since everyone has a different gut microbiota we have to take some findings with a grain of salt. Many factors have to be taken into account when studying fiber and disease such as: Exercise Stress levels Sleep Other dietary factors such as sugar intake, alcohol, processed foods etc. Fruit and vegetable intake Medications Smoker? Genetics Antibiotic history Here are some quick facts based on the latest research on fiber and various conditions: Fiber reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes with fiber from fruits and vegetables being more protective than cereal fibers. Cereal fibers work well just not as well as fruits and vegetables. Fiber supplements lower fasting glucose and hemoglobin A1c. Paleo diets and low-carb diets work better than low-fat/high fiber diets for heart health and weight loss. Interestingly, Paleo and low-carb diets are low in fiber indicating that balancing blood sugar and reducing inflammation are more important than eating a lot of fiber. Fiber supplements decrease blood pressure and cholesterol but it doesn’t mean this reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Fiber supplements help with weight loss. Some research shows fiber protects against colorectal cancer and some research shows fiber has no protective effect from colorectal cancer. Fiber reduces the risk of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) like Chron’s disease and Ulcerative colitis but once you have IBD it is best to eat a low fiber diet until you are in remission and then slowly increase to a tolerable amount. Fiber may make Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) worse or it may help. If you have diarrhea dominant IBS then avoiding fiber is probably a good idea as it can make some people worse. However, if you have constipation dominant IBS, fiber may help. Like with IBD, it’s best to start with low fiber intake and slowly increase to a tolerable dose. If your IBS is due to Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), it is best to avoid fiber supplements until the SIBO is under control. Fiber supplements do not appear to help much with bloating and pain in IBS but they do help with quality of life, stool consistency, and frequency. Soluble fiber appears to work better than insoluble fiber. When should you use a fiber supplement? If you currently have a digestive issue such as SIBO, IBS, IBD, GERD or any of the common symptoms of gut dysfunction such as gas,

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