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Dietary fiber can help alleviate allergic asthma. Fiber-rich food influences the development of immune cells. A team of researchers led by Benjamin Marsland from the University Hospital Lausanne (CHUV) has proven this in experiments on mice.
The study found that the lack of fermentable fibers in the diet can cause allergic inflammation in the lungs. So far, it was only known that microbial diversity in the intestine, when it digested and fermented fibers, played an important role in the prevention of colon cancer. "We are now showing for the first time that the influence of the intestinal bacteria extends much further, namely to the lungs," says Marsland.
In the past 50 years there has been an increase in new cases of allergic asthma. This development was observed in both industrialized and developing countries. With the increase, the consumption of vegetables and fruits decreased at the same time. These foods are rich in fibers and are known for their soothing effects of various intestinal diseases.
In mice, the researchers showed that the fibers not only have a positive effect on the intestine, but also have similar effects on the lungs. For their investigations, the researchers gave a group of mice a food mix with four percent fibers. Another group was given a low fiber diet containing only 0.3 percent fiber. In this group, stronger allergic reactions to dust mites were observed than in the other mice. The fibers in the food changed the composition of the intestinal bacteria, which better split the food into short-chain fatty acids. These reach the bone marrow via the blood and thus have a positive effect on the maturation of the immune cells.
In the further course of the investigations, an asthma attack was triggered with a house dust mite extract. The allergic defense reaction could be dampened by the fatty acids. Even the sole administration of the fatty acid propionate, which arises when fibers are broken down, was able to reduce the allergic inflammatory reactions in the lungs and help to alleviate them. In clinical studies with test subjects, the researchers are now hoping for similar processes in the human organism with similar positive results. If you want to change your eating habits towards a fiber-rich diet, you should increasingly use the following foods:
- Bran cereals
- beans, legumes
- General peas
- Sweet corn
- Whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, whole grain rice
- red cabbage, carrots
- Baked potatoes with skin
- apples, bananas, oranges and all fruits
The German rectum and large intestine center in Mannheim also recommends a diet rich in fiber or fiber in order to actively prevent the increasingly common diseases of the intestine and anus. The scientists published their results in the journal "Nature Medicine". (fr)
Image: Gänseblümchen / pixelio.de