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DIETARY FIBRE IMPACT ON INFECTION

Eating more fibre is one easy thing you can do to help to boost your immune system and fight infections. 

 Highlights

  1. Dietary fibre has a significant protective effect on infections of the lungs
  2. Increasing fibre intake is a simple way of increasing protective immunity and reducing the severity of an infection
  3. Increasing dietary fibre consumption by 5g per day (roughly a handful of berries or nuts) is an easy way to add this life-saving nutrient

A bit more detail

Fibre, through its central influence on our gut microbiota, is known to have a positive effect on inflammation in general,[1] and diseases of the airways that involve an immune response from the body in particular.[2]

Among many other benefits of fibre, it is metabolized by some of our gut bacteria into short chain fatty acids[3].  These have a profound effect on our immune system in terms of reducing inflammation and a wide range of other benefits.[4]  A number of studies also show that the positive effects relate to the development of protective immunity and reduced immune system-linked tissue damage when lungs are infected with flu.[5]

While all deliberate infection studies have been done on animals, one study with over 400 students showed a 40% reduction in the percentage of days with cold or flu in normal-weight individuals with 5.0g of additional fibre consumption per day.



[3] In particular, acetate, propionate, and butyrate