It can be hard for a consumer to decide which fiber supplement is right for them. They don't have to get FDA approval for all their health claims. How do you know if a supplement is right for you?

The study found that people who had eaten the least amount of fiber before the study had the greatest benefit from supplements.

Lawrence David, an associate professor of genetics and microbiology at Duke University, said that the people who responded the best had been eating the least fiber to begin with.

The benefit of fiber isn't just that it's easy to poop. Fermentable fiber is an essential source of vitamins and minerals that the human gut can't process on its own.

The David lab co-authored two new papers about fiber, one of which was written by a former PhD student. We've stopped feeding our microbes what they need because of the recent changes in diet.

When your gut bugs are happily munching on a high-fiber diet, they produce more of the short-chain fatty acids that protect you from diseases of the gut. They make more butyrate, which is fuel for the cells of the sphinx. Butyrate has been shown to improve the gut's resistance to pathogens and lower inflammation.

David's research team wanted to know if it was necessary to personalize fiber supplements to different people since different fermentable fibers have different effects on short-chain fatty acid production.

There wasn't much difference between the fiber supplements we tested. David said during a tour of his sparkling new lab in theMSRB III building that they looked similar.

David said that the microbiome will thank you with more butyrate regardless of which test supplement you pick.

The average American adult only consumes 20 to 40 percent of the daily recommended amount of fiber, which is believed to be a root cause of a lot of our common health problems. Fiber supplements have been created that can increase the production of short-chain fatty acids, instead of the other way around.

Three types of fermentable fiber supplements were tested by Duke. The 28 participants were divided into groups and given each of the three supplements for one week in different orders, with a week off between supplements to allow them to return to a baseline state.

David said that participants who had been consuming the most fiber had the least change in their gut bugs.

The participants who had been consuming the least fiber had the greatest increase in butyrate.

A second study done by the David lab with support from the U.S. Office of Naval Research found that gut microbes responded to a new addition of fiber within a day, dramatically altering the populations of bugs present in the gut and changing which of their genes they were using to digest food

The researchers found that the gut microbes were primed by the first dose and were able to digest fiber on the second dose.

Jeffrey Letourneau is the lead author of the second study. If you're a low fiber consumer, you don't need to worry about which type of fiber to add. You need to find something that works for you in a sustainable way.

It doesn't have to be a supplement. It can be a good source of fiber. People who were already eating a lot of fiber came from plants like beans, leafy greens, and citrus.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Naval Research, and the NASA translational research institute.

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