- Eating foods rich in fiber is part of a healthy diet.
- A little-known, rich source of dietary fiber called chitin is found not only in mushrooms and other fungi, but also in the exoskeletons of crustaceans and insects.
- Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found evidence through mouse models that ingesting chitin can help improve digestion, reduce body fat, and promote weight loss.
Eating foods rich in fiber is part of a healthy diet. This is because fiber helps the body in a variety of ways, including improving digestion, maintaining a healthy weight, and making it easier to move solid waste through the body.
Past research has also shown that dietary fiber can help
Most people may know that dietary fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, but there are some great sources of fiber that are lesser known.
This form of fiber is known as:
This study was recently published in the journal science.
Chitin is a naturally occurring
Chitin acts a little like keratin, a protein found in human nails. Chitin in insects and crustaceans helps them create a hard, protective outer shell.
Chitin, a type of insoluble fiber, does not dissolve in water and aids in digestion by helping move substances through the body.
Additionally, previous research has shown that chitin provides other benefits to the body, including:
Dr. Steven Van Dyken, assistant professor of pathology and immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and lead author of the study, said his research team set out to understand immune responses to different types of foods. I am interested in studying how the body responds to chitin, which is abundant in these types of foods.
“Dietary fiber intake is related to health”
In the course of research, scientists discovered that an immune system reaction occurs during chitin digestion. After ingesting chitin,
This automatically triggers an immune response, causing stomach cells to
“We studied how chitin is broken down, or digested, by the human body’s own chitinases,” continued Dr. Van Dijken. “This happens after eating chitin, and the digestive process is enhanced by activating cells of the immune system, which also influence obesity and metabolism. We believe that intervening in this pathway can improve metabolic health. We think this might be a way to improve.”
During this study, Dr. Van Dijken and his team discovered that mice that consumed chitin activated their immune systems, but their bodies did not digest the chitin, which had the biggest impact on obesity.
The researchers used a mouse model that was fed a high-fat diet. They then fed some of the mice chitin.
According to the researchers, some mice were unable to produce chitinase, which breaks down chitin. Because of their inability to do so, these particular mice gain the least weight, have the lowest body fat measurements, and are obese compared to mice that did not ingest chitin or that ingested but were able to break down chitin. resisted.
Dr. Van Dyken said these results were expected from previous research showing that eating fiber that is less efficiently digested improves metabolic health.
“While it has long been known that increasing dietary fiber intake tends to be beneficial for metabolic health, we now have a better understanding of how different types of fiber affect the body. We are now studying this pathway further in humans to see if it can be targeted therapeutically.
– Dr. Stephen Van Dyken
MNT We also spoke with Monique Richard, registered dietitian, owner of Nutrition-In-Sight, and national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, about the study. Richard was not involved in this study.
Richard said his first reaction to the study was to realize it was based on an animal model, not humans.
“This kind of research has its limitations and doesn’t always yield the same results in humans,” Richard said. “For example, the intestinal tracts of the mice studied were germ-free, free of bacteria.”
“Such an environment does not exist for humans. To break down what we ingest in our gastrointestinal tract, our pancreas secretes digestive enzymes, bacteria that we ourselves produce, or bacteria that naturally live in our gastrointestinal tract. “There are many factors at play, right down to the bacteria that live in our bodies,” she explained.
However, Richard also suggested that taking advantage of all foods rich in insoluble fiber and many other beneficial nutrients is important for human health.
“Eat a variety of fiber-rich foods that contain both.”
soluble— Turns into a gel with liquid — Insoluble fiber, such as legumes, whole grains such as oatmeal, fruits with pulp and skin, and most vegetables, especially mushrooms, celery, cauliflower, green beans, and leafy greens, provides energy. Beneficial for maintenance. It not only supports weight management, but also reduces insulin resistance, cholesterol levels, and heart disease risk factors. ”
Richard said consuming at least 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day is beneficial to your overall health.
“An example of a fiber-rich food is 1/2 cup of pinto beans, which contain about 7 to 8 grams of fiber,” she continued.
“Additionally, a registered dietitian ( RDN),” says Richard.