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Foods that make you fart are good for you

The production of gas means that your body is hosting the right kinds of bacteria in your microbiome, an Australian scientists says.

Dr Trevor Lockett, Head of the Gut Health and Nutrition Group at the country’s peak government science agency, says we should encourage these “good bugs” by eating more fibre.

“Fermentable components of dietary fibre have a critical role in feeding the gut microbiome,” he told Bugs, Bowels and Beyond, the 2015 National Scientific Conference of the Australian Society for Medical Research held in Adelaide, South Australia this week.

Recent findings describe how different dietary components influence the microbiome, and determine their production of not just gas, but also molecules that are beneficial in the large intestine.  

“For example, we know now that bacteria living in the large intestine produce a short chain fatty acid known as butyrate, which can reduce inflammation by stimulating regulatory immune cells,” Lockett said.

Resistant starches tend to make it through digestive processes in the stomach and small intestine to feed the microbiome in the large intestine. Unrefined whole grains, pulses and legumes, unripe bananas and cooked and cooled foods such as potatoes, pasta and rice are goods sources.

Bill Condie

Bill Condie

Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.

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