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A diet high in fermentable fiber (fruits/veggies) produced compounds called short-chain fatty acids which had a beneficial effect on the immune system and protected against type 1 diabetes in animals. The fermentable fiber is broken down by bacteria in the gut to acetate and butyrate which not only improves the gut barrier but also reduces pro-inflammatory factors and prevents the immune system from attacking the body’s own cells (immune tolerance). The researchers are hoping to apply these findings to clinical research next.

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