Dietary fiber reduces brain inflammation during aging



In his book Fiber Fueled, which I recently reviewed, Dr. Will Bulsiewicz stresses the importance of the gut microbiome generating healthy short-chain fatty acids when consuming plant foods with lots of soluble fiber. One of these is butyrate. This important new study shows butyrate reduces inflammation in the brain, which should help with healthy brain aging. Great post, thanks, Tony

Dietary fiber reduces brain inflammation during aging 1One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

As mammals age, immune cells in the brain known as microglia become chronically inflamed. In this state, they produce chemicals known to impair cognitive and motor function. That’s one explanation for why memory fades and other brain functions decline during old age. But, according to a new study from the University of Illinois, there may be a remedy to delay the inevitable: dietary fiber.

Dietary fiber promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut. When these bacteria digest fiber, they produce short-chain-fatty-acids (SCFAs), including butyrate, as byproducts.

Dietary fiber reduces brain inflammation during aging 2

“Butyrate is of interest because it has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties on microglia and improve memory in mice when administered pharmacologically,” says Rodney Johnson, professor and head of the Department of Animal Sciences at U of I, and corresponding author on the Frontiers in Immunology study.


Although positive outcomes of sodium butyrate – the…

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