Inulin: An essential fibre to promote normal gut microbe function

Your gut microbiome is the conductor of your health. Microbes create many signals which influence the function and health of your entire body. Methanogen species is a type of gut microbe which has a beneficial effect on your gut microbiome. Methane gas is produced by methanogens after it consumes its fuel sources. Methane gas has a positive impact on your health.

When prebiotic fibre or the food your good bacteria need to stay alive is broken down, the microbes in your gut produce signals called short-chain fatty acids as well as hydrogen. If the hydrogen levels in your gut are not broken down, they can build up and inhibit the other types of gut microbes in your gut from functioning.

Picture of Blackberry and raspberry and strawberry smoothie

The methanogen strain uses hydrogen and as a result, helps the good bacteria in your gut to maintain regular function and production of their health-promoting signals including short-chain fatty acids. This helps to keep your gut and body healthy.

Methane also helps your body by stimulating the release of GLP-1. GLP-1  is a hormone that helps to keep your blood glucose within a healthy range by stimulating the production of insulin.

Reduced levels of methanogen strains in a gut microbiome have been shown to increase the fat stores around your organs and promote insulin resistance. However, excessively elevated levels of methanogen species are also seen in people with constipation and in diverticulosis.

Fibre plays an important role in regulating your gut transit time.  If you have elevated levels of methanogen species in your gut microbiome the type of fibre may play an important role in determining whether the effect on your gut and health is positive or negative.

Inulin, a type of soluble fibre may increase the activity of methanogens and is associated with positive health outcomes while other types of soluble fibre like partially hydrolysed guar gum and beta-glucan do not. This is good news for those who enjoy a delicious South Australian Gourmet Food Company Fruit Custard with Added Fibre. The type of fibre used in this product is 10.9-11g of inulin.

Take home message:

Including a large variety of plant-based foods in your diet will ensure your body receives a range of different fibres which are essential for your health. This research shows the importance of including the type of soluble fibre called inulin as a part of a healthy and balanced diet. To promote healthy gut function and overall health.


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