What we eat could be a solution to reduce antibiotic resistance by modifying the gut microbiome. Following a high-fiber diet is associated with lower antibiotic resistance in gut bacteria.
According to a study published by scientists at the Agricultural Research Service and published in the American Society for Microbiology Journal, the association of diet and antimicrobial resistance is seen in healthy adults who consume at least 8 to 10 grams of soluble fiber.
“Microbes that have resistance to several commonly used antibiotics, such as tetracycline and aminoglycoside, are a major source of risk to people around the world.”
The researchers point out that antimicrobial resistance in people is largely based on their gut microbiomewhere microbes are known to carry genetically encoded strategies to survive contact with antibiotics.
Foods that contain soluble fiber include oatmeal, chia seeds, nuts, beans, lentils, apples, and blueberries.
“Modifying diet has the potential to be a new weapon in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. And we’re not talking about eating an exotic diet either, but rather a diverse, adequate-fiber diet that some Americans already eat,” explained molecular biologist Danielle Lemay, a researcher at the Western Human Nutrition Research Center.
Other health benefits of fiber consumption
Eating foods rich in soluble and insoluble fiber can offer various health benefits. The Harvard Nutrition Source notes that consuming soluble fiber can help lower glucose levels as well as lower blood cholesterol.
Insoluble fiber can promote regularity and help prevent constipation. Food sources of insoluble fiber include whole wheat products, quinoa, brown rice, legumes, leafy green vegetables like kale, almonds, nuts, seeds, and fruits with edible skins like pears and apples.
The National Institutes of Nutrition (NIH) note that some studies suggest that high-fiber diets may also help with weight loss and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
NIH experts suggest that men should consume about 38 grams of fiber a day and women about 25 grams.
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