Summary: Diets rich in guava gum, dietary fiber, and common food supplements derived from guava bean reduce inflammation and delay multiple sclerosis in mouse models.

Source: University of British Columbia

Foods rich in guar gum, a common food additive and dietary fiber, limited inflammation and delayed the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in mice, according to a new study by members of the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

“The rapid increase in immunosuppression and morbidity in industrialized countries over the past few decades suggests that dietary choices are one of the environmental factors contributing to incidence,” said Dr. Lisa Osborne, the study’s senior researcher and assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at UBC.

“Dietary fiber can modulate the immune system and control inflammation in many diseases, but it’s a biochemically diverse family. Our research gives us a clearer window into the many sources of fiber that support the immune system.

Dr. Osborne and his colleagues exposed groups of rats to different diets—a control five percent cellulose fiber diet, a diet with no dietary fiber at all, or a diet (30%) enriched with resistant starch, inulin, pectin, or pumpkin gum. Coir gum is the only type of fiber that significantly reduces MS-like symptoms.

Guar Gum – Guaran – is extracted from guar beans and is commonly used as a thickener and stabilizer in food and animal feed and as an additive in industrial applications. India and Pakistan are major producers of beans.

“Garden beans are not that common in Western diets, and gum is not used at these high levels as an additive in the West,” said Naomi Fettig, first author of the study and PhD student in the Department of Microbiology. Immunology at UBC.

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Guar Gum – Guaran – is extracted from guar beans and is commonly used as a thickener and stabilizer in food and animal feed and as an additive in industrial applications. Image is in public domain.

Experts have long said fiber is good for you — and that different sources of fiber are important for immune health — but not much critical work has been done to determine how the body responds to different types of fiber. It is amazing that this particular source has such an impact.

In the US and Canada, the average daily intake of fiber is 15 grams – twice the current recommendation of 30 grams. The recommended values ​​do not take into account any particular fiber type.

“Incorporating backyard beans can be challenging to reach the doses we gave to rats,” Dr. Osborne said. However, guar gum extract, partially hydrolyzed guar gum, is marketed as a prebiotic.

After the chewing gum was digested by the microbiota in mice, the molecules obtained appeared to reduce the activation and proliferation of CD4+ T cells, T1 cells, which play a key role in the activation of the immune system. It’s that response that leads to MS-like symptoms in mice.

Prior to this study, the effect of fiber on Th1 cells was largely unknown, and these findings suggest that biochemical differences in fiber composition influence different immune pathways.

Dr. Osborne and her lab now want to explore the potential benefits in humans—including developing a more detailed understanding of the molecular picture, which could help design treatments that provide more practical benefits of such high levels of pumpkin gum.

So nutrition and multiple sclerosis research news

Author: Chris Balma
Source: University of British Columbia
Contact: Chris Balma – University of British Columbia
Image: The image is in the public domain.

Preliminary study: Open Access.
Inhibition of Th1 activation and differentiation by dietary guar gum ameliorates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.” by Lisa Osborne et al Cell reports

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Draft

Inhibition of Th1 activation and differentiation by dietary guar gum ameliorates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

Highlights

  • Individual sources of dietary fiber have distinct effects on T cell subsets
  • Dietary fiber guar gum impairs Th1 polarization and alters migration potential
  • Guar gum increases short-chain fatty acids but does not affect regulatory T cells
  • Pumpkin gum supplementation significantly slows down autoimmune neuroinflammation

Summary

Dietary fiber is an immune response modulator that can suppress inflammation in several disease contexts.

However, dietary fiber includes a biochemically diverse family of carbohydrates, and it is not known how individual fiber sources affect immunity.

In a direct comparison with four different high-fiber diets, we demonstrate the potent ability of guar to slow down gingivitis and neuroinflammation.

Guar gum-specific changes in the microbiota were limited, and appeared to be independent of immune-stimulating fiber-short-chain fatty acid levels or regulatory CD4 increases.+ T cells. CD4 instead+ T cells of guar gum-supplemented mice are not encephalitogenic due to changes in reduction, proliferation, Th1 differentiation and migratory potential.

These findings demonstrate the specificity of the host’s response to fiber sources and define a mechanism of fiber-induced immunity that protects against disease.

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