Flaxseed may help boost gut health, fight obesity: Study

LONDON: Consuming flaxseed may change the microbes in the gut to improve metabolic health and protect against diet-induced obesity, according to a study conducted in mice.

The organisms that live in the digestive tract (gut microbiota) play a role in regulating weight and the way the body processes sugar (glucose tolerance), according to the study published in the American Journal of Physiology — Endocrinology and Metabolism.

The breakdown of dietary fibre in the gut — a process called fermentation — can produce favourable changes in the digestive system, such as an increase in beneficial fatty acids, which may reduce the production of fat tissue in the body and improve immune function.

Flaxseed is a fibre-rich plant that has been shown to improve cholesterol levels and inflammation in the colon, said researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

However, there is little research on the fermentability of flaxseed and how flaxseed fibre affects gut microbiota.

Researchers studied mice assigned to four different diets: a standard diet that contained 4.6 per cent soy-based fibre (“control”); a high-fat diet that with no fibre (“high-fat”); a high-fat diet that contained 10 per cent indigestible cellulose fibre (“cellulose”); and a high-fat diet with 10 per cent flaxseed fibre (“flaxseed”). (AGENCIES)

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