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Dietary fibre has been very well studied over the past many years for its health rewards.1 Dietary fibre, a plant derived substance resistant to enzymatic digestion includes cellulose, non-cellulosic polysaccharides (hemicellulose, pectins, gums, mucilages) and lignin.2 The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (2015) has put forth the importance of taking dietary fibre in adequate amount from various plant sources.3 The Institute of Medicine (IOM), National Academy of Sciences defines dietary fibre as non-digestible carbohydrate and lignin that is intrinsic and intact in plants, whereas functional fibre is isolated non-digestible carbohydrates that have beneficial physiological effects in humans. Total fiber is the sum of dietary fiber and functional fiber.1
Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), 2015 characterized dietary fibre as one of the shortfall nutrients. According to this report, the under-consumption of dietary fibre in the general public should be considered as a ‘public health concern’ because of the adverse health outcomes.4 In most of the nations across the globe, the present dietary fibre consumption levels are far below the recommended levels.1 The IOM has not set any upper limit for fibre intake. In recent years, there is a trend to find new sources of dietary fibre that can be used in the food industry and supplementation has been used to enhance fibre content of foods.2
Dietary fibres are basically of two types2:
Cereals, vegetables, nuts and fruits are the natural sources of dietary fibre.2 Dietary fibre sources, in addition to fibre, provide additional micronutrients and phytochemicals, thereby further improving the health. Also, the dietary fibre-rich foods have low saturated and trans-fatty acids, sodium and sugar contents. Therefore, consumption of adequate dietary fibre is associated with improved health outcomes and reduces the risk of various chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes mellitus, and some types of cancers. It also helps in keeping digestion process healthy and reduces the risk of weight gain.3
Even though fibre does not add much to the energy, intake of fibre plays various significant roles. The bacteria residing in the colon are responsible mainly for the metabolism of fibre. The susceptibility to the fermentation depends on the structure of the fibre.5
Acetate, butyrate and propionate are the common SCFAs produced by fermentation of fibres. The colonic bacterial milieu and the diet display a dynamic interplay. These fatty acids play important role in colonic physiology by stimulating colonic blood flow and promoting fluid and electrolyte uptake. Butyrate is fuel for the colonic cells, and perhaps it helps to maintain the normal phenotype of these cells.5
The important roles of dietary fibre are as following2,5:
According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), the recommended AI levels for total fibre intake by age and gender are1:
The American Academy of Paediatrics suggests two different guidelines for fibre intake in children:
The DRI for dietary fibre as recommended by IOM is 14 g fibre/1000 kcal consumed or between 19 and 38 g/d in children, depending on age.
According to NHANES 2013-2014 data, the mean dietary fibre intake of most children and adults is not enough. It is 16 g per day by children aged 2 and older, 18 g per day by men and 15 g per day by women.10 This means the intake levels are one-half to one-third of the recommended levels.11
The medical practitioners should advise patients to incorporate fibre-rich foods in their routine diet in moderate amounts throughout the day.3 Consumption of dietary fibre can fill the gap between the recommended intake levels and the prevalent intake levels.1
A recent study by Mackie et al. has revealed the benefits of dietary fibre in the upper GI tract. Due to the viscosity of fibres, gastric emptying is altered and therefore, satiety and fullness as well are affected subsequent to nutrient release and nutrient sensing.12
As dietary fibre is a key substrate for microbiota of gut, regulation of dietary fibre intake has an immediate and direct impact on the microbial population of the gut.3 Dietary fibres are able to modulate the gut microbiota and thus play a critical role in the composition and metabolism of the microbiomes, which in turn affects intestinal health.3 Dietary fibre intake is also known to have effects on immune function via the gut microbiota.3
The recommendation of the dietary fibre intake is underscored across the globe because of the poor fibre intake. According to NHANES 2013-2014, there is a large gap between the actual intake and the recommended levels. To address this large gap and in order to meet the recommended intake dietary fibre levels, it is critical to increase the dietary fibre consumption. The health benefits of dietary fibres are very well researched and well documented over the past decades. Higher dietary fibre intake reduces the risk of developing various chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes mellitus, and some cancers. Such populations are also associated with lower body weights. Apart from these, it is strongly suggested that the occurrence of conditions such as constipation, diverticular disease, and gallstones could be reduced with the adequate dietary fibre intake.
The universally accepted definition of dietary fibers “Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be digested by our bodies enzymes”. Fiber is a very important non-nutrient. Foods rich in fiber improves satiety as it needs more clearing than other foods and it absorbs water and swells
By:- Dr. Anuradha Khadilkar and Dr. Vaman Khadilkar HCJMRI, Jehangir Hospital, Pune
Calcium and vitamin D are critical for musculosketal health. One of the main actions of Vitamin D is for the absorption of calcium. The calcium that is absorbed is deposited in bones;
Dual protein combinations containing a blend of soy and dairy proteins (whey and casein) have sufficient essential amino acid content, various digestion rates and longer aminoacidemia compared to single protein isolates to offer unique advantage to health.
Type 2 diabetes is ranging from predominantly insulin resistance with relative insulin deficiency to predominantly an insulin secretory defect with insulin resistance. The transition from the early metabolic abnormalities that precede diabetes, impaired fasting glucose (IFG)
Optimal nutrition intake is necessary for normal brain development.1 According to the UNICEF, the years from conception through birth till the age of eight years is a critical period for complete and healthy cognitive, emotional and physical growth of children.
The microbes present in the gut flora of the human microbiota contribute to the overall health of the infants and children. Changes observed in the composition and diversity of the gut flora has shown a significant impact in various clinical conditions. Thus probiotics are considered safe and effective
In the present scenario, complains related to weakness and fatigue is one of the most common problem that clinicians deal with. Weakness refers to a decrease in muscle strength. Fatigue is tiredness that may be either independent of, or associated with, exertion.
The information and references in this article are intended solely for the general information and do not constitute legal or other professional advice on any subject matter. The information contained herein is correct as the date of this document to the best of our knowledge. We suggest that you evaluate any recommendations and suggestions independently. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as referred in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended that require medical treatment under a doctor's care.The content of this article is not intended to offer personal medical advice, diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications. These articles have been created and curated by Signutra’s medical team and are property of the Company. Copyright of these articles vests with Company.