RSSTraditional sourdough bread better for digestive health

Posted on Tue, 16 Dec 14

Traditional sourdough bread better for digestive health

Bread made by traditional sourdough long fermentation is less likely to lead to digestive symptoms compared to bread made using modern industrial methods.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is characterized by abdominal discomfort or pain associated with alterations in bowel habits and it is well known that bread and wheat products are a common cause of IBS symptoms.

Increasing reports of IBS and wheat intolerance in recent years led a group of researchers to test the theory that modern bread production methods may be in part to blame.

To see if traditional sourdough fermentation had a relationship to the health of your gut bacteria and the generation of digestive symptoms they compared bread made with a traditional long fermentation sourdough process to the shorter, incomplete fermentation of the modern Chorleywood Breadmaking Process.

Traditional bread, it was discovered, resulted in beneficial changes in gut bacteria (e.g. a significant increase in bifidobacteria and lower numbers of sulphate-reducing bacteria, i.e., Desulfovibrionales, species). Sulphate-reducing bacteria are known to contribute to gas production, and sure enough fermented sourdough bread significantly reduced gas production.

These findings suggest that traditional sourdough bread fermentation may have a favorable effect on gut bacteria and reduce gastrointestinal symptoms.


Costabile A, Santarelli S, Claus SP, et al. Effect of breadmaking process on in vitro gut microbiota parameters in irritable bowel syndrome. PLoS One. 2014 Oct 30;9(10):e111225.

Tags: Bread, Fermented Bread, Sourdough, Digestive Health, Gut Bacteria, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, IBS, Gluten

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