Over the past twenty years, fiber has acquired a sparking scientific reputation for safeguarding against obesity and diabetes. And now, researchers think they have finally cracked the code on how fiber’s fat-fighting, metabolic magic works. For this groundbreaking study, a team of European scientists conducted a series of lab experiments with rats.
They carefully monitored exactly what happened biochemically within the rat’s intestinal cells when they ate fiber. And here is what they discovered. When rats eat fiber, good bacteria that naturally reside in their colons (probiotics) digest or “ferment” the fiber into short-chained fatty acids. These fatty acids then turn on the production of glucose within the intestinal cells. The production of glucose by intestinal cells is beneficial for two reasons:
Specifically, the scientists determined that intestinal glucose sends a nerve signal directly to the brain that activates three obesity-protective responses—less hunger, a kick up in resting metabolic rate (more calorie burning at rest), and less glucose production by the liver (excessive glucose production by the liver is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and weight gain.) (Cell, January 2014)
Based on this remarkable new science, here are the two things I want you to know:
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