Nutrition: Is Too Much Fiber Bad For You?

While we often hear that we should increase fiber, also known as dietary fiber, in our diets, new research from Cornell University reveals that its effects may vary from person to person and suggests that recommendations should be tailored to each person’s gut microbiome.

for The study was published in the journal Gut Microbes, researchers focused on resistant starch, a class of dietary fiber found in foods such as bread, cereal, green bananas, whole-grain pasta, brown rice, and potatoes. They then identified the types of gut microbes that changed in response to two different types of resistant starch.

Microbiome-based nutrition

They found evidence that each person may have a unique response to eating some type of resistant starch, with some people benefiting from it while others have little or no effect. The reason appears to be related to the level of diversity and composition of a person’s gut microbiome.

“Precision nutrition (a type of personalized nutrition approach based on each person’s unique needs) is certainly helpful in determining how much dietary fiber each person should be getting,” says Dr. Angela Poole, associate professor of molecular nutrition and senior author of the study.

“This is very important because there have been many public messages encouraging people to eat more fiber for decades,” said Dr. Angela Poole.

“At the same time, less than 10% of people reach the recommended daily intake. Because there are so many different types of dietary fiber and carbohydrates, a better strategy would be to design a fiber diet plan that works best for each person based on their individual needs and characteristics,” he said.

To reach this conclusion, researchers tested three nutritional treatments on 59 participants over seven weeks.

Leave a Comment