A team of scientists at the University of Nottingham found that changing the dietary fiber structure of psyllium helps to increase the number of beneficial intestinal bacteria and reduce gas production. This discovery may help people with fiber intolerance and intestinal irritation. The results of the researchers’ work were published in the journal Food Hydrocolloids.
“Fiber is an important part of any diet and can cause intestinal discomfort for many people. Therefore, it is important to find an alternative that would not cause side effects,” the scientists explained.
The authors studied psyllium, which is a fiber obtained from the seed coat of Plantago ovata (psyllium ovata). They are used in a number of products, such as yogurt or baked goods.
From psyllium fiber, you can get a powder (it is actively used for problems with the intestines), or you can get a jelly-like material with a high content of polysaccharides. Scientists analyzed the effect of both forms on the human intestinal microflora. As it turned out, mucus with polysaccharides leads to the production of fatty acids, which positively affect intestinal health and systemic metabolism.
“The mucus was more effective than the powder. This suggests that there are new opportunities to obtain fibrous materials with clear clinical benefits. In the future, we will continue research in this area,” the scientists concluded.