If you missed part one, go back and begin there to learn more about why fiber is so absolutely essential for your microbiome, gut health, and immune system. Let’s pick up where we left off with short chain fatty acids (SCFA), the tiny metabolites that fight back against inflammation.
Fiber and Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs)
When our gut bacteria ferment fiber, metabolites called short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) are formed. SCFA are a major energy source for the cells lining our colon. They support immune system function, help nourish intestinal tissues, and stimulate the growth of some types of good bacteria in your gut.
Short-chain fatty acids themselves are anti-inflammatory. They help regulate your immune system and inflammatory response by promoting immune cell activity and interrupting inflammatory signals.
SCFA are also critical for blood sugar control. They can help with insulin sensitivity (or make your cells respond to signals that control blood sugar) to improve blood sugar balance. Blood sugar dysregulation can lead to reduced immunity by impairing your white blood cell function.
So SCFAs benefit us by keeping inflammation levels down, reducing oxidative stress on cells (which can lead to cellular damage), balancing our blood sugar, and supporting immune function.