Tuxedo and Trenchcoat

Hunter T

Recently ran across several studies and analyses about fiber and lung function. Confirms what I first learned feeding flax and psyllium to a dog Trenchcoat (or was it her mother Tuxedo?) who had polyps obstructing in the gut, then seeing the beneficial effects to all the dogs. No more respiratory infections, no kennel cough, no need for the rotten bordetella vaccine. At the time more than 25 years ago people said, how can feeding fiber change the dog’s resistance to infection and congestion in the lungs?

I told Dominique Grandjean, the Alpirod chief vet, about the psyllium husk and it was added to the Royal Canin “sausage” provided to their sponsored teams. There are many proxies, and proxies for proxies, related to prebiotics and health. Butyrate and propionate are sometimes used. A problem that makes many such studies no better than anecdotes for relevance to other situations is that the prebiotics interact with the other foods eaten at the same time and with the specific host individual’s microbiome immediately, initially, and then over a period of many meals. But, to say, the husk of the plantago seed aka psyllium is extremely hydrophilic and forms a viscous mass that probably during passage through the GI tract entrains other food that is not otherwise dietary fiber but reaches the large intestine where effectively it is.

A small amount of certain fiber/prebiotic can have major effects. I was reminded also of  konjac fiber in addition to psyllium/plantain, oats, Aloe vera gel, marshmallow roots and leaves…
>This study provides the first evidence that dietary fiber is independently associated with better lung function and reduced prevalence of COPD.
More on the general subject prebiotics and health:

The general benefit to health of dietary fiber is demonstrated in the results of a longevity study conducted in China, see in an earlier post:



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