This Fiber May Make IBD Symptoms Worse, New Study Says

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Anyone who deals with bowel issues knows that they can sometimes be annoying, uncomfortable, and downright painful. This might be something you know well due to the fact that 12% of people living in the United States have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a disorder that affects the gastrointestinal tract, according to the National Institutes. of Health.

Another common disorder affecting the digestive tract is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which an estimated 60-70 million people in the United States face. The two types of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, both of which involve chronic inflammation issues.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help improve the condition of your gut if you have IBD, including avoiding foods that could make it worse. That’s why you might be interested to know that a specific type of fiber does just that, according to a new study.

Read on to learn more about this new study on gut health and fiber, and for more health tips, check out 4 Best Morning Drinking Habits to Support Gut Health.

What the study found

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The study, which was published in Gastroenterology and involved researchers from the University of Manitoba and the University of Alberta, analyzed the results of tests, including colon biopsies, that had been performed on participants with IBD. Their goal was to determine how various types of fiber might affect the body of someone with IBD.

Results showed that participants with IBD were unable to properly digest unfermented dietary β-fructan fiber. In addition to this, unfermented dietary β-fructan fiber intensified participants’ IBD symptoms by causing inflammation.

“The results of this study may help shift nutritional advice to patients on a more personalized and individualized basis – what the authors call ‘precision nutrition’,” says Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND, Senior Director of Global Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife Nutrition. “We are moving away from a ‘one size fits all’ approach to managing people with IBS or IBD, and this information provides more insight into the effects that specific types of dietary fiber may have in some people with these symptoms. .”

RELATED: 5 Best Beverages to Improve Gut Health

Regarding unfermented dietary β-fructans fiber, Bowerman explains that “since beta-fructans are found in many healthy foods, there is no reason for everyone to avoid them.” However, “for those with gut issues, it may be a good idea to avoid foods containing beta-fructans and determine if avoidance improves symptoms.”

What foods contain this type of fiber?

high fiber foods
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If you have gut issues and think you may need to eliminate potentially problematic fiber from your diet, Bowerman says, “Avoiding beta-fructans means avoiding specific foods that contain them: grapefruit, bananas, dates, prunes , foods from the onion family, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and some grains, beans, and nuts.”

If that sounds like a lot, it is. This is why Bowerman also points out that “because beta-fructans are prevalent in foods, consultation with a dietitian specializing in digestive disorders would be helpful in order to ensure that a balanced diet will still be consumed after removing these fiber-rich foods. “

Desiree O

Desirée O is a freelance writer who covers, among other things, lifestyle, food and nutrition news. Learn more about Desiree

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