According to scientists, there is a gut-brain axis, the health of the gut affects the health of the brain. This connection is even more clear thanks to the latest scientific article published a month ago on the journal Frontiers in Immunology and written by a team of the University of Illinois (Matt et al, Front Immunol, 2018). In particular, on the basis of the study, dietary fiber has a protective role on the brain against the inflammations of this organ that develop with aging.
As mammals get old the immune cells of the brain, called microglia, become inflamed. This chronic inflammation in the long period may damage the cognitive and motor function and the memory. However, on the basis of the study, introducing through diet fiber may have an anti inflammatory effect both on the gut and the brain. This is because the fiber is digested by the bacteria that live in the gut, the so called microbiota, and, as a consequence, a substance known as butyrate is produced. And it is the butyrate that counteracts inflammations. Prof Rodney Johnson, head of the experiment, states that older people in average eat 40% less dietary fiber than is recommended and this may have dangerous side effects on inflammation and the health of brain. According to the article, increasing butyrate with diet is a good healthy choice and this amount can be guaranteed, for example, with an intake of inulin, a type of fiber that you can find in artichokes, Jerusalem artichokes, dandelion, garlic, onion, leek, asparagus, chicory and banana.