New Delhi: Obesity is one of the biggest health problems at present, that is rapidly becoming a part of everyone's life. The rising number of obese people around the world just goes to show how we are allowing a particular lifestyle to dictate us into an unhealthy state of being.
Obesity is also a trigger for many other health problems like diabetes, hypertension and hormonal disorders.
Eating healthy is the first thing that comes to mind when one decides to lose weight, besides regular exercise.
While various diets are always available, a study has suggested adding dietary fibre like peas, broccoli, raspberries, blackberries, coconut and figs in your daily diet to avoid chances of obesity.
According to Georgia State University researchers, consumption of dietary fibre can prevent obesity, metabolic syndrome and adverse changes in the intestine by promoting the growth of "good" bacteria in the colon.
The findings indicated that enriching the diet of mice with the fermentable fibre insulin prevented metabolic syndrome that is induced by a high-fat diet and they identified specifically how this occurs in the body.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions closely linked to obesity that includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels and when these conditions occur together, they increase a person's risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Obesity and metabolic syndrome are associated with alterations in gut microbiota, the microorganism population that lives in the intestine.
This study found the fermentable fibre inulin restored gut health and protected mice against metabolic syndrome induced by a high-fat diet by restoring gut microbiota levels, increasing the production of intestinal epithelial cells and restoring expression of the protein interleukin-22 (IL-22), which prevented gut microbiota from invading epithelial cells.
Researcher Dr Andrew Gewirtz said that manipulating dietary fibre content, particularly by adding fermentable fibre, guards against metabolic syndrome.
For four weeks, the team fed mice either a grain-based rodent chow, a high-fat diet (high fat and low fibre content with 5 percent cellulose as a source of fibre) or a high-fat diet supplemented with fibre (either fermentable inulin fibre or insoluble cellulose fibre).
The high-fat diet is linked to an increase in obesity and conditions associated with metabolic syndrome.
The results indicated that insoluble cellulose fibre only modestly reduced obesity and dysglycemia.
When they switched mice back to a chow diet, the colon mass was fully restored.
The research appears in the journal Cell Host & Microbe.
(With ANI inputs)