Fiber and Gut Bacteria – Underrated Besties

Your digestive tract is home to a thriving community of bacteria numbering in the trillions. (significantly more than the number of cells in the body!) Their health impact is remarkable, influencing the way we think, how we feel, our quality of sleep, and a myriad of health conditions. It seems as though Hippocrates was right when he said, “all disease begins in the gut.”

Within the last 10 years, researchers have become keenly interested in the role of gut microbes and human health. They’ve discovered that the collective microbial community functions more like an organ rather than just a haphazard collection of bacteria. Thousands of species, each having millions of different types of bacteria, make up this collective ‘organ,’ which is responsible for producing essential metabolites that serve to keep us healthy, especially when it comes to our immune system. 

Numerous diseases have also been linked to an imbalance in gut bacteria, including asthma, allergies, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), obesity, cardiovascular disease, and colorectal cancer. Therefore, paying close attention to how well our bacterial allies are functioning deep within the gut is likely a worthwhile endeavor.

Keeping Your Bacteria Happy

Our gut needs bacteria in the same way we need food to survive. Although the interactions between gut bacteria are complex, there is one thing we know for sure: they require ample amounts of fiber found in fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds! Regardless of whether the fiber is soluble, insoluble, or fermentable, our tiny microbial friends require up to 40 grams of fiber per day to keep us (and them) in the healthiest state possible.

Fiber and Elimination

The title of a popular children’s book sums it up nicely: “Everyone Poops.” Elimination is a natural part of our physiology, even if we don’t like to talk about it. Getting rid of our excess waste should be a daily, comfortable, effortless, and clean experience. We shouldn’t require reading material or need 6 feet of toilet paper to finish the job. The entire process should be as effortless as the elimination.

But for many, maintaining regular bowel habits is a challenge, managed by consuming coffee in the morning, taking magnesium at night, or adding in other herbal products designed to prevent constipation. Without adequate fiber in the diet, which adds bulk to the stool, this can be an ongoing struggle that makes everyone miserable, including your gut bacteria.

How to Get Started

The average American diet includes 12-15 grams of fiber per day as compared to the 30 – 40 grams needed to optimize microbial health and ensure regular elimination. But fair warning: adding in too much fiber too quickly can cause uncomfortable digestive symptoms, including bloating, gas, and even constipation. It’s better to start slowly and increase as tolerated after you see how your body responds to the increased fiber amount.

Our recommendation is to try and obtain your daily fiber intake from real food as compared to taking it in supplement form. There is a time and place for supplemental fiber, as in during a cleanse, but it’s better to incorporate fiber-rich foods as part of your regular diet.

Keeping your intestinal bacteria well-fed and happy requires ongoing attention. However, the payoffs are significant! Having regular elimination and the assurance that your gut microbes are receiving the nutrients they need to keep you healthy is a wonderful feeling! 

Happy Patients

I have had back issues most of my life. Since starting treatments with Dr Greg I have had no more issues. It's such a relief to be able to be physical at the high level I want to be. I am able to maintain wellness by seeing Dr Greg on a regular basis. Thank you Dr Greg!!

Michael L.

Hello! I just want to say that you are truly a healer! After leaving your office last Monday, I was more able to breathe, truly breathe - after having suffered all weekend to take a deep breath due to a "rib out of place" OK - if you say so....all I know is that, though I continued to have a bit of pain in my upper back and neck for a day or two, I could take wonderful, glorious deep breaths thanks to your treatment. Thanks again for all you do! Even if I do make many sound affects while you are treating me - "OUCH!!! Hmmmph!! Ughhh!! Really???" I truly appreciate your healing touch....


I have had Parkinson's Disease for 8 years.  I have developed arthritis in my back and hips. The stiffness of the Parkinson's and the arthritis has caused me a lot of pain. Because of that unrelenting pain I was unable to exercise. Exercise is an important part of pain management for Parkinson's.  Since I have been seeing Dr. Krapf I am feeling much better and his care has allowed me to begin exercising again, which has improved my overall well being. In the past I have been treated by physical therapists and orthopedists. Dr. Krapf's chiropractic manipulations have had an amazing impact on my health and happiness. I highly recommend Dr. Krapf to anyone who needs excellent chiropractic care and the many alternative therapies he offers. I would say he is magical!

When my friend received excellent care from Dr. Krapf, she recommended him to me. I have had gastrointestinal problems for nearly 50 years that have recently been diagnosed with celiac disease with lactose intolerance. All that, including unrelieved stress had made me unhappy and unhealthy. Today I am a different person with the help of Dr. Greg. The Gastro issues are practically nonexistent, my stress levels have plummeted, and my body is changing. I am so grateful for Dr. Greg and his healing hands.

Mary Ann L.

Our family have been patients of Krapf chiropractic for a few decades. We have several success stories archived. The most recent event involves our youngest son who is completing his senior year of high school. He has been a patient of Krapf Chiropractic (KCA) since birth. He has been an avid soccer player since the age of four and has sustained numerous injuries over the years. Dr. Krapf has successfully assisted in every recovery.

Most recently, he began complaining of his feet hurting while playing soccer. Both feet hurt - particularly the balls of his feet while running and cutting. He came to Dr. Greg with his complaint as this was seriously affecting his game. Dr. Greg evaluated the situation and decided a foot scan should be done. The finding was dropped arches. My son was fitted for orthotics. They arrived within days and he wore these as directed. Within a few short weeks he is now playing full games pain free.


I first called Krapf Chiropractic when my back was so bad that I couldn't get up off the floor. It's been a blessing to have Dr. Greg help me with my overall wellness and health! I find this to be a place where you are not a number and everyone cares. Mollie is always cheerful and reminds me to come. Erin is always smiling and helps relax me when I'm in pain. I would not be functioning if I did not have Krapf Chiropractic to keep me going. As I get older my appreciation deepens, especially when I see people around me who are suffering with back problems. If they only knew how helpful this is. I believe Dr. Greg treats the person not the symptoms. Thank you

Debbie B.

I've been lucky to have exceptional health care from the beginning. At the beginning, seventy-six-plus years ago, Hugh Rodgers brought me into the world in mother and dad's second-floor bedroom in our dairy farm home. Hugh's son, Hugh, Jr., practiced with his dad and beyond caring for my parents, he, also, cared for hundreds of others and me. Roughly forty years ago, a friend suggested I make an appointment with Richard Krapf for help with back-pain. Richard treated the pain that, often, was debilitating, and on Richard's death, his son, Greg became the second second generation to help me from one place to another. I'm grateful to Hugh, Hugh, Richard and, perhaps, most of all, to Greg.


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