Study in Mice Shows Benefit of Fiber to Reduce Allergic Reactions

ATLANTA (April 30, 2014) — Previous studies have shown the benefit of fiber on digestive health, but according to a study published in Nature Medicine, consumption of fiber may also help with reducing inflammation caused by allergic reaction.

In the study, researchers examined the effect of dietary fiber on inflammation response in mice fed either a regular diet (4% fiber) or a low-fiber diet (<0.3% fiber). Mice were exposed to house dust mite extract, a common allergen, and monitored for an allergic reaction. The researchers found that mice eating the low-fiber diet experienced increased inflammation, meaning they had a more severe allergic reaction than the mice that were on the regular diet. Researchers concluded that these results “highlight the importance of dietary fibers” and “support the concept that intervention strategies targeting diet are a valuable approach for not only intestinal diseases but also respiratory inflammatory diseases.”

“We all know that fiber can be beneficial for gut health, but this study shows that fiber may have even more health benefits,” stated Theresa Hedrick, dietitian for the Calorie Control Council. “High-fiber diets have been associated a multitude of health benefits, and this study potentially adds one more to the list.”

Trompette A, Gollwitzer ES, Yadava K, Sichelstiel AK, Sprenger N, Ngom-Bru C, et al. Gut microbiota metabolism of dietary fiber influences allergic airway disease and hematopoiesis.Nature Medicine, 2014. 20(2): 159-165.