A paper in December’s issue of Nutrition Bulletin, focuses on interactions between dietary fibre, plant polyphenols and bacteria in the intestine.
A diet rich in fibre, fruit and vegetables is linked with lower risk of diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Although detailed mechanisms remain unclear, research is implicating the products that result when polyphenols and fibre from these foods interact with the microbiota.
Interactions in the large bowel
The researchers are investigating interactions in the large bowel between small bioactive molecules derived from fibre and from plant polyphenols, following metabolism of these dietary components by gut bacteria.
In particular, does combining different fibres and plant polyphenol sources enhance the production of beneficial bioactive fatty acids and phenolic acids, increasing the amounts that move into the bloodstream?
This work has the potential to fine-tune dietary advice and guide product development.
- Professor Judy Buttriss is director general of the British Nutrition Foundation