Roles for dietary fibre in the upper GI tract: The importance of viscosity

Research paper by Alan Mackie, Balazs Bajka, Neil Rigby

Indexed on: 18 Mar '16Published on: 15 Nov '15Published in: Food Research International


Dietary fibre has long been recognised as healthy because of its prebiotic quality and a number of dietary fibres, especially beta glucan have been shown to lower levels of circulating LDL cholesterol. However, although EFSA allow health claims to be made for this, there is no fundamental understanding of the detailed mechanism involved. More recently dietary fibre has been shown to have a range of functionality in the upper GI tract. The presence of fibre can alter gastric emptying thus affecting fullness and satiety. These alterations are a result of differences in viscosity, nutrient release and nutrient sensing in the duodenum. The current proposed mechanisms for the cholesterol lowering effects involve disruption of the normal recycling of bile possibly by sequestering bile salts and fatty acids or by significantly decreasing the rate of absorption as a result of entanglement with intestinal mucus.

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