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Natural Awakenings National

Different Fibers Produce Different Results


Marek Studzinski/

Although high-fiber diets reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular disease, the latest research from Stanford University indicates that not all fibers are equal in their effect on different species of probiotics in the intestines. Arabinoxylan, which is common in whole grains, was found to reduce cholesterol naturally and was easier to digest than long-chain inulin, which is found in onions, chicory root and Jerusalem artichokes. Commonly used for weight-loss products, inulin was linked to a modest decrease in inflammation markers and an increase in Bifidobacterium, “good” gut microbe; however, at high doses it increased inflammation and raised the possibility of liver damage.

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