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Fiber stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria

Fiber in the diet stimulates the growth of good bacteria in the gut, such as the probiotic bifidobacteria, but most Americans do not get enough daily fiber.

In this study, 51 healthy adults with inadequate fiber in the diet took a placebo or 15 grams or 25 grams of fiber per day, in alternating phases. After three weeks, while there was no change during the placebo phase, those taking the 25-gram dose of fiber saw a 38 percent increase in fecal bifidobacteria probiotic counts.

Participants in the high dose group also saw an average increase of 29 grams in the weight of waste compared to the start of the study. Discussing the findings, doctors said either dose of fiber was safe and brought participants above the daily requirement for fiber in the diet, and that adding fiber to the diet appears to have significant health benefits.

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