High-fiber Diet Improves Survival in Influenza-infected Mice


Published Date : May 16, 2018

A recent study has revealed that the inclusion of dietary fiber in everyday meals can help improve antiviral immunity, thus preventing a number of chronic inflammatory conditions, including allergies and asthma. According to the preclinical study that was recently published in the journal Immunity, dietary fiber helped increase the survival in mice infected with influenza by making the immune system healthy.

A diet that is high in fiber reduces excessive, harmful immune responses in the lungs and boosts immunity to viruses by activating T cells. These dual benefits of high-fiber diet were mediated with the help of changes seen in the composition of gut bacteria, which led to the increased secretion of SCFAs (short-chain fatty acids) through the fermentation of dietary fiber by microbiota.

The benefits of dietary fibers and short-chain fatty acids on a number of chronic inflammatory conditions has been the focus of several studies in the past few years. Studies this massively supported the increased use of dietary fibers in a number of clinical studies. The researchers of this study were concerned that the treatments could lead to a reduction of immune responses and will in fact increase the vulnerability to infections.

Influenza remained at center of the study owing to the common nature of the condition, with it affecting nearly 20% of the world population every year. The researchers found out that the mice under study was protected from the condition due to a diet that had high quantities of fermentable fiber or short-chain fatty acids. Researchers feel that the results of the study can help develop effective treatments for people prone to viral infections or conditions such as asthma. Also, there is a need for new intervention studies estimating the impact of controlled and carefully carved out dietary plans on humans. These pathways can also help supplement other treatment methods or help improve vaccine efficiency.