A study has found that high fibre diets mainly including fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes can help reduce brain inflammation during ageing. Dietary fibres can promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut. These bacteria in turn produce short-chain-fatty-acids (SCFAs), including butyrate, as by-products. “Butyrate is of interest because it has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties on microglia and improve memory in mice when administered pharmacologically,” said Rodney Johnson of University of Illinois.
“People are not likely to consume sodium butyrate directly, due to its noxious odour,” Johnson said. “A practical way to get elevated butyrate is to consume a diet high in soluble fibre,” he added. “We know that diet has a major influence on the composition and function of microbes in the gut and that diets high in fibre benefit good microbes, while diets high in fat and protein can have a negative influence on microbial composition and function. Diet, through altering gut microbes, is one way in which it affects disease,” said Jeff Woods, co-author on the study.
“What you eat matters. We know that older adults consume 40% less dietary fibre than is recommended. Not getting enough fibre could have negative consequences for things you don’t even think about, such as connections to brain health and inflammation in general,” Johnson concluded. Stay tuned for more updates.