11 Aug 2014

Prebiotic diet 'could revolutionise our health': Catalyst ABC TV 14 & 21 Aug 2014

Vegetables high in prebiotic fibre
ABC Catalyst are doing a special two part program called 'Gut Reaction', broadcast Thursday 14 and 21 August 2014. Could our food be making us sick - very sick? And could changing our diet make us better? Part 2 broadcast this evening (21 Aug) features a young, fit, active and apparently healthy man, Gideon Cordover, who trials a prebiotic fibre-rich diet designed by dietitian and nutrition researcher Dr Jane Muir and prepared by Masters student Trish Veitch, from the Monash Department of Gastroenterology. Gideon has been eating an unhealthy diet predominantly of fast food. In the words of the Catalyst promo, "changing the foods we eat could revolutionise our health and treat disease." 

In Part 1 of this two-part special broadcast last week, Catalyst reporter Graham Phillips revealed new research about the interplay between food and the bacteria deep inside our guts, featuring School of Biological Sciences researchers Prof Charles Mackay and Dr Alison Thorburn. They are researching the impact of increasing what's called 'prebiotic' fibre in your diet. 

Prebiotics are fibre compounds that provide a substrate for beneficial bacteria that colonize the large bowel, and thereby stimulate the growth and activity of these bacteria, which may benefit not only digestion and absorption of minerals, but also immune system function. Not all fibre is prebiotic, but all prebiotic is fibre.

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