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What I’m going to tell you is kind of disturbing. In fact, it sounds like something from a horror movie. Did you know that there are creatures in your body that could be eating away at you — and your health — from the inside?
It’s an unsettling thought. But there’s a simple solution that can keep these creatures from damaging your body. But first, let me explain what might be happening inside you…
You’ve probably heard all about the bacteria in your gut and how they affect your health. The thing about these gut bacteria is that they can help or hurt your health depending on a few factors… like which ones are living inside of you, how many are living inside of you and what you’re feeding them on a daily basis. And, as it turns out, what you are (and aren’t) feeding them is particularly important…
If you aren’t feeding them enough fiber, for example, you may be starving them. Fiber is their primary food source. And when they don’t get enough, they could turn to the next available option for sustenance… your gut lining.
That’s right. The bacteria in your gut may start eating your gut lining if you don’t feed them properly. If this happens, they could infect your colon wall. That could lead to leaky gut syndrome, which can contribute to serious health issues like irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and a host of auto-immune diseases.
I know this all sounds too strange to be true. But trust me, it is. In fact, researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School recently witnessed this phenomena happening in mice.
In their study, researchers used mice that were raised to have no gut microbes, and they implanted 14 types of human gut bacteria into their guts. Then they divided these mice into two groups. One group received a high fiber diet and the other group received no fiber.
Needless to say, the mice eating a no-fiber diet developed a problem in their gut within a few days. The microbes began munching on the mucous lining of their intestine.
“The lesson we’re learning from studying the interaction of fiber, gut microbes and the intestinal barrier system is that if you don’t feed them, they can eat you,” said Eric Martens, Ph.D., an associate professor of microbiology at the University of Michigan Medical School and lead researcher of the study.
The gut bacteria solution
So what can you do to keep bacterial invaders from eating your insides? Well, the solution is obvious… eat more fiber. If you’re like most Americans, you’re probably eating way too little fiber to ward off disease (and superbugs). The Institute of Medicine currently recommends that men get 30 to 38 grams of fiber per day and women get 21 to 25 grams of fiber per day.
But some health experts recommend you get 50 grams or more per day. In fact, Dr. Michael Cutler recommends you eat even more… especially if you’re trying to overcome chronic disease. He suggests eating 75 grams per day or more from fruits and vegetables. That’s roughly nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
“High-fiber diet keeps gut microbes from eating colon’s lining, protects against infection.” Medical Xpress. http://medicalxpress.com. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
“Fiber: Daily recommendations for adults.” The Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org. Retrieved November 18, 2016.