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CQUni’s role showing how dietary fibre prevents diabetes

CQUni’s role showing how dietary fibre prevents diabetes

Published:19 April 2017

CQUniversity researcher Dr Dana Stanley who was the gut microbiota expert on an international team that recently published in the prestigious Nature Immunology journal.

Dietary fibre does not directly prevent type 1 diabetes but it can modify the gut’s microbiota to protect against the disease.

That’s according to CQUniversity researcher Dr Dana Stanley who was the gut microbiota expert on an international team that recently published in the prestigious Nature Immunology journal.

Dr Stanley says that non-digestible fibre is fermented in the colon by beneficial fibre-degrading intestinal bacteria to produce short chain fatty acids, with butyrate and acetate known as the most beneficial for health.

Prolonged boosted concentrations of butyrate and acetate in feed modify the gut biota itself, in a process which is shown to offer protection against type 1 diabetes.

“To prove it was the modified gut microbiota rather than the acetate delivered in food itself that prevented diabetes, we transferred faecal microbiota from acetate-protected mice into mice who were being fed normal standard chow. Faecal transplant recipient mice were also protected from diabetes, demonstrating that it is gut microbiota and not just acetate in feed that confers the protection,” Dr Stanley says.

She says that, compared with past generations, our modern diets tend to contain more refined sugar and meat and fewer grains, fruits and vegetables, leading to dangerously low fibre intake linked to the rise of many autoimmune diseases.

"The latest study proves the benefit of non-digestible fibre in warding off auto-immune diseases such as type 1 diabetes."