Want improved brain health? Eat a diet high in fibre!


Eat more fibre has been the most repetitive line from the experts and elders alike for all kinds of a benefits for us. From lowering heart disease risks to cutting down the chances of some types of cancer, fibre are amazing compounds that help us in many ways.

And a now a new research has suggested another potentially benefit of fibre! A diet high in fibre content may help in reduced brain inflammation, which in turn could mean less cognitive decline and memory loss with age, and decreased risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

For the research, the team tested rats’ intestines by focusing on a short-chain fatty acid called butyrate, which is produced by bacteria that ferment fibre in the gut. Some studies showed that butyrate in drug form helped in rodents’ memory. To find out if a diet high in fibre would have similar effects, the researchers fed young and aging mice high-and low-fibre diets and then tested their butyrate blood levels and assessed their levels of intestinal inflammation.

After the tests, the result showed that a high-fibre diet had the same effects which could be compared to the drug by elevating butyrate and other short-chain fatty acids. The researchers noted that the high-fibre diet lowered intestinal inflammation in the older mice to the same levels as the young mice.

In the study, published in the journal, Frontiers in Immunology, the researchers then went on to run a genetic test on the mice and found that those who ate a high-fibre diet also had reduced inflammation in their brain’s immune cells, known as microglia.

“What you eat matters,” said corresponding study author Rodney Johnson, head of the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the study. “We know that older adults consume 40 per cent less dietary fibre than is recommended. Not getting enough fibre could have negative consequences for things you don’t even think about, such as connections to brain health and inflammation in general.”