Gut bacteria help digest dietary fiber, release important antioxidant
Researcher Isaac Cann
Researcher Isaac Cann
Photo by L. Brian Stauffer
January 20, 2021

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Dietary fiber found in grains is a large component of many diets, but little is understood about how we digest the fiber, as humans lack enzymes to break down the complex molecules. Some species of gut bacteria break down the fiber in such a way that it not only becomes digestible, but releases ferulic acid, an important antioxidant with multiple health benefits, according to a new study led by Department of Animal Sciences researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

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