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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The gut brain axis : impact of dietary fiber on a murine model of multiple sclerosis Robinson, Hannah


Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that causes demyelination of neurons, neurodegeneration and progressive disability. The exact cause of Multiple Sclerosis remains unknown however, susceptibility to MS is influenced by genetics and environmental factors, such as diet. As zero-fiber diets have been associated with exacerbated disease in inflammatory disease models, we investigated dietary fiber’s impact on the murine model of MS, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). We demonstrated that standard fiber diets (5%) do not offer protection against EAE when compared to zero-fiber diets, whereas a diet high in the soluble fiber, guar gum (30%), inhibited disease progression and prevented lymphocytic CNS infiltration. Other soluble fibers: pectin, resistant starch and inulin did not offer the same protection – providing evidence that the types of dietary fiber have differential effects on the immune system and neuroinflammation.

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