Tag Archives: dietary fiber

Dietary Fiber Improves Antiviral Defense

CD8+ T cells are a subset of lymphocytes that play a major role in antiviral defense (Kulinski et al. 2013). However, recently published evidence shows reduced levels of circulating CD8+ T cells in people infected with SARS-CoV-2 (Zheng et al. 2020, Wang et al.  2020; HC= healthy controls, NCP = patients with COVID-19 related pneumonia):

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Immune enhancing treatments, including thymalfasin and immunoglobulin are being provided to SARS-COV-2 infected subjects with some success. For example, 37/55 (67%) subjects saw improvements for circulating CD8+ levels in Wang et al. 2020, but additionally, 18/55 subjects did not experience increased CD8+ counts:

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Accordingly, levels of CD8+ T cells were identified as an independent predictor for COVID-19 severity and treatment efficacy (Wang et al. 2020). When considering that CD8+ cells were not increased in all subjects in Wang et al., are there are other strategies that may be helpful? Interestingly, increased levels of CD8+ cells are found in the lungs of mice infected with the influenza A virus in response to a high soluble-fiber diet, when compared with control-fed mice (Trompette et al. 2018):

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As a result, lung viral load is more than 10-times reduced 8-days after infection in high soluble fiber-fed mice:

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Moreover, average survival in mice infected with influenza A is significantly better when fed the high soluble-fiber diet, when compared with control fed-mice:

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Is it possible that a high soluble fiber diet can increase CD8+ cells in people infected with SARS-CoV-2, thereby enhancing their recovery and survival? No studies have tested this hypothesis (yet). While conventional medical treatment is obviously helpful, based on the findings of Trompette et al. (2018), further optimization of immune defense against viral infections may occur when including soluble fiber-rich foods.

References

Kulinski JM, Tarakanova VL, Verbsky J. Regulation of antiviral CD8 T-cell responses. Crit Rev Immunol. 2013;33(6):477-88. Review.

Trompette A, Gollwitzer ES, Pattaroni C, Lopez-Mejia IC, Riva E, Pernot J, Ubags N, Fajas L, Nicod LP, Marsland BJ. Dietary Fiber Confers Protection against Flu by Shaping Ly6c Patrolling Monocyte Hematopoiesis and CD8+ T Cell Metabolism. Immunity. 2018 May 15;48(5):992-1005.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2018.04.022.

Wang F, Nie J, Wang H, Zhao Q, Xiong Y, Deng L, Song S, Ma Z, Mo P, Zhang Y. Characteristics of peripheral lymphocyte subset alteration in COVID-19 pneumonia. J Infect Dis. 2020 Mar 30. pii: jiaa150. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiaa150.

Zheng M, Gao Y, Wang G, Song G, Liu S, Sun D, Xu Y, Tian Z. Functional exhaustion of antiviral lymphocytes in COVID-19 patients. Cell Mol Immunol. 2020 Mar 19. doi: 10.1038/s41423-020-0402-2.

Coronavirus isn’t the only virus that negatively affects human health.

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High-Fiber Diets Are Associated With Reduced All-Cause Mortality Risk

A meta-analysis of 10 studies, including 80,139 subjects was recently published that shows a significantly reduced risk of death for all causes in association with higher total dietary fiber intakes (35-39g/day), when compared with lower fiber (Reynolds et al. 2019):

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Should we supplement with fiber, or get it from whole food? Fiber from whole foods was significantly associated with lower levels of fasting glucose, body weight, whole body fat mass, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Supplementation with fiber extracts or bran was not significantly associated with the reduction of any of these variables (NS, not significant; NM, not measured:

fiber

 

Reference

Reynolds A, Mann J, Cummings J, Winter N, Mete E, Te Morenga L. Carbohydrate quality and human health: a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Lancet. 2019 Feb 2;393(10170):434-445. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31809-9.

 

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130 grams of fiber, 2400 calories

How do I eat ~100 grams of fiber, on average, every day? Here’s my full dietary breakdown from December 30, 2015:

my diet 12-30.png

Green tea is associated with reduced all-cause mortality risk (https://michaellustgarten.wordpress.com/2015/10/20/drink-green-tea-reduce-and-all-cause-mortality-risk/), so I start every day with  green tea + lemon.

Then, I ate a giant salad (https://michaellustgarten.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/what-i-eat-giant-salad/), consisting of pickles, lettuce, tomato, purple cabbage and corn, and topped with a blended dressing of fresh lemon, sesame seeds, cumin, jalapeño, and raw garlic.

Also on the list were sardines, which I eat every day. Snacks in between bigger meals were carrots, 1 whole red pepper, mushrooms, and a Brazil nut.

Then I ate a big bowl of broccoli topped with cherry tomatoes. I added mustard powder after the broccoli and tomatoes were done cooking (~10 minutes), because broccoli’s sulfurophane content decreases with cooking time (https://michaellustgarten.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/restoring-boiling-induced-sulfurophane-depletion-in-broccoli-with-mustard-powder/).

At some point after that I had cod liver oil, to get my daily dose of Vitamin D and the fish oil fatty acids, EPA and DHA. I just (last week) sent my blood for analysis of my circulating Vitamin D, so I may need to increase my vitamin D intake based on what the result shows.

Next I had my beet-berry smoothie (https://atomic-temporary-71218033.wpcomstaging.com/2015/08/09/beet-berry-smoothie/).

For dinner I had my barley-veggie mix (https://michaellustgarten.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/what-i-eat-barley-cauliflower-collard-tomato-celery-onion-corn-mix/), including barley, cauliflower, celery, tomato, corn, collards, onions and olive oil. Also, with an orange for dessert!

In sum, 2400 calories, 130 grams of dietary fiber, and maximal nutrition!

fiber 130

7/2017 Update: When considering the link between linoleic acid and all-cause mortality (https://michaellustgarten.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/the-essential-fatty-acid-linoleic-acid-dietary-intake-and-circulating-values-whats-optimal-for-health/), Ive increased my intake of omega-6 fats, almost exclusively from walnuts, while cutting my carbohydrate intake to try to stay calorie neutral. In doing so, this change increased my HDL from 28 to ~50, while keeping my total cholesterol < 150, and LDL < 70.

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Dietary fiber from whole grains is associated with reduced mortality risk-which grains are highest in fiber?

In an earlier post I reported that dietary fiber from whole grains is associated with reduced mortality risk for all causes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory and infectious disease in both men and women (https://atomic-temporary-71218033.wpcomstaging.com/2014/08/02/is-dietary-fiber-associated-with-reduced-mortality/).

More specifically, which whole grains are highest in fiber?

Shown below are grams of dietary fiber per 100 grams (uncooked) for each respective grain.

grain fiber

It should be clear from the table that barley (16.6g) and rye (15.1g) are the all-stars for grains with the highest amounts of dietary fiber per 100g. Wheat (12.2g) and oats (10.6g) are also excellent sources. Because of the association between dietary fiber from grains and reduced mortality risk, it might be a good idea to add these foods to your diet!

If you’re interested, please have a look at my book!