Certain good bacteria in our gut can turn the fiber we eat into an anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer compound called butyrate that we absorb back into our system. We may be able to boost the number of butyrate-producing bacteria by eating a plant-based diet.
Our friendly flora’s digestion of fiber also yields another short chain fatty acid called butyrate which may fight against cancer by slowing the growth of colon cancer cells and activating programs cancer cell death, as well as preventing cancer in the first place. Butyrate may explain why fiber filled plant based diets are so anti-inflammatory.
A recent review concluded that butyrate seems to exert broad anti-inflammatory activities and might be a good candidate to evaluate in the fight against obesity-associated and systemic inflammation in general. They are alluding to using it as some kind of supplement but we can produce more on our own naturally by two ways. Number one is eating more plant foods since it’s a byproduct of fiber digestion. And number two; we can boost the number of butyrate producing bacteria in our colon by - eating more plant foods!
Different butyrate production capacity varies in individuals according to diet. Not only do those eating vegetarian harbor more good bacteria period, vegetarian fecal samples showed the highest number of copies of the butyrate producing genes.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by MaryAnn Allison.
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This is the second of a three-part video series on interacting with our intestinal tenants. Yesterday's video-of-the-day Fawning Over Flora discussed another short chain fatty acid our good gut bacteria can make from fiber called propionate. For a sampling of other videos on keeping our colon happy, see Kiwifruit For Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Flax and Fecal Flora, Is Dragon Fruit Good For You?, and Bristol Stool Scale.
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