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Fiber Benefits Happen Fast

Only 2 weeks of more fiber can lead to a health gut check.

Man happily rubbing belly in front of fiber-rich foods to represent fiber benefits

Many of us now know that eating more fiber equals a healthy gut. The good news is that it only takes a couple of weeks of increased intake for fiber benefits to kick in. A study published in mSystems found that it takes 2 weeks for an increased intake of fiber to bring about noticeable changes in our gut’s microbiome.

Study participants consumed an extra 25 grams of fiber each day with the goal of eating at least 40–50 g daily. By the end of the 2-week study, researchers noted that higher fiber intake resulted in a favorable shift in the bacterial composition in people’s guts; there were more microcritters that can metabolize fiber into the byproducts critical for human health.

Since most Americans don’t get anywhere near this amount of dietary fiber, other research will need to determine if a more realistic fiber intake for the general population will do the trick of delivering fiber benefits.

See also: Daily Fiber Recommendations

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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