Eating more fiber may help restore diversity in our gut microbes, according to researchers at the University of Alberta. In a commentary the researchers advocate for strategically increasing dietary fiber intake to close the “fiber gap” most Westerners have in their diet. They pointed to evidence showing a more diverse microbial population benefits not only our immune system, but also our digestive health.

Additionally the authors call for future research on the impacts of dietary fiber to use a larger, more realistic, amount of fiber in studies. Currently most studies examining the impact of fiber in human diets use between five and 15 grams of fiber, however the authors believe this amount is physiologically irrelevant.

Original research paper published in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism on April 11, 2015.

Names and affiliations of selected authors

Jens Walter, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta