Multispecialty Medical Clinic
3808 East 51st Street
Tulsa, OK 74135

To Your Health Newsletter

June, 2022 (Vol. 16, Issue 13)
Fiber to the Rescue

By Editorial Staff

You probably know that fiber plays a key role in proper bowel function, allowing your gut to do what it's supposed to do: move waste through and out of your system. Now here's what most people probably don't know: fiber also helps reduce antibiotic resistance, an increasingly common consequence of antibiotic use. It doesn't even take that much fiber to make a difference, suggests research.

A dietary analysis specific to soluble fiber intake involving 290 healthy adults revealed that consuming higher levels of soluble fiber (a mere 8-10 grams per day) is associated with fewer antibiotic-resistant GI microbes compared to consuming less soluble fiber. This is significant because the diverse human gut microbiome is designed to fight antimicrobial resistance – but the more you take antibiotics, the less ability your gut has to fight the resistance.

Why? According to the CDC, here's how antibiotic resistance manifests: "Antibiotics and antifungals kill some germs that cause infections, but they also kill helpful germs that protect our body from infection. The antibiotic-resistant germs survive and multiply. These surviving germs have resistance traits in their DNA that can spread to other germs." In other words, antibiotics kill the bad bacteria – but also the good ones. The ultimate result: untreatable infections.

Back to fiber: Do you know how much fiber you get every day? It's probably far lower than you think; and far lower than what's recommended. Per the Mayo Clinic, women need 21-25 grams per day, while men need even more: 30-38 grams. Try tracking your fiber intake for a few days and see how close you get to the recommended grams per day. Adequate fiber consumption matters for more than just antimicrobial resistance (and optimal bowel habits); it also helps lower cholesterol, control blood sugar, maintain a healthy weight and more.