Microbial Diversity and Weight Gain

A new study in laboratory animals inoculated with human gut microbes shows how desperately important dietary prebiotic fiber is, in terms of maintaining microbial diversity. Low levels of prebiotic fiber lead to loss of diversity, which, in humans, is associated with a variety of diseases, including diabetes and autoimmune conditions. The study further demonstrates that while introduction of prebiotic fiber does restore the diversity to some degree, subsequent generations of these laboratory animals are less able to recover their diversity, with some species of gut organisms actually becoming extinct.

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  • Ri

    Hi Dr Perlmutter you should check out the book The Obesity Code. I just purchased it and Dr Fung discusses the role of insulin and intermittent fasting in weight management. It would be great if you could interview him on The Empowering Neurologist!

    • bill

      I read somewhere that bananas and sweet potatoes (maybe yams too?) were good sources of prebiotic carbohydrates (indigestible so not damaging) providing nutrition for our beneficial gut bacteria.

      • Maris

        Yes I read that as well and also plantains. I stopped all the grains sugar and dairy. Eating sweet potatoes plus green plantains baked in coconut oil instead (paleo diet), and finally this balanced my weight..

        • Ottavia Zeffilini

          thanks for saying about green plantains and sweet tatters helping you balance weight, I’m having a difficult losing this weight that’s sneeked on me.

  • Marilyn Willison

    Thank you for the prebiotic info! Thanks to you , Tony and I take ours every day. Marilyn Willison

    • Emmalee

      Hi Marilyn. I missed the topic of prebiotic fiber. Is it a group of specific foods or a capsule similar to a probiotic? Thanks.

      • Jay

        Hi Emmalee, did you ever here back from Marlyn on prebiotic fiber. Not sure what Dr. P is talking about.

        • Emmalee

          Hi Jay. No…no response. I looked online and found products for sale. An example is chia. It is a good fiber to eat before meals. Let me find those pages and I will send the link’s from here.

          • Emmalee

            I can’t get link to paste but if you go WebMD.com and put in prebiotics it gives an explanation and examples. Bananas, and asparagus were two examples. Let me know if I can be of further help.

  • Linda LePelley

    So, what hope is there for persons who have lost the diversity? Is there no way to recover the microbiota?

  • Kathryn Sheehan

    How much prebiotic fiber should we consume to restore or maintain microbial diversity? I follow your grain-free Grain Brain (low carb/high fat/moderate protein) diet which has been successful in reversing my T2 diabetes. When someone consumes only 35-40 grams of carbohydrate a day, with the main source of calories in the diet as healthy fat, that doesn’t leave much room for large amounts of non-starchy vegetables, resistant starch and hardly any fruit, if any at all. To keep my blood glucose in the normal range, I can’t go above 40 total grams of carbohydrate a day. I also read your book “Brain Maker” and understand the importance of maintaining or restoring a healthy microbiome, especially for a diabetic. What is your recommendation regarding prebiotic fiber for someone on a strict low carb diet? This video didn’t go into any useful details. Thanks!

    • bill

      I get the impression that the prebiotic fibrous carbohydrates are not countable towards the 40 total grams of carbohydrates.

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