Impact of Fiber on Health Indices
Synopsis: The health benefits of fiber are relatively well known yet average fiber intake around the world continues to be inadequate. Since people aren't meeting their fiber goals with the foods they currently eat, adding fibers to foods is a realistic and simple way to address this global public health concern. The results from these new studies add to the growing body of research that supports the addition of fibers to foods that consumers are already eating, which easily allows for increased fiber intakes and provides added health benefits.
Improved bowel health, increased satiety and enhanced calcium absorption add to mounting evidence for the health benefits of certain added fibers in the diet.
Fiber is defined as a substance found in plants. Dietary fiber - the kind you eat - is found in fruits, vegetables, and grains. Dietary fiber adds bulk to your diet. Because it makes you feel full faster, it can be helpful in controlling weight. Fiber aids digestion, helps prevent constipation, and is sometimes used for the treatment of diverticulosis, diabetes, and heart disease. There are two forms of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
- Soluble fiber - Attracts water and turns to gel during digestion. This slows digestion. Soluble fiber is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and vegetables. Soluble fiber has been scientifically proven to lower cholesterol, which can help prevent heart disease.
- Insoluble fiber - Found in foods such as wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains. Insoluble fiber speeds the passage of foods through the stomach and intestines and adds bulk to the stool.
The health benefits of fiber are relatively well known yet average fiber intake around the world continues to be inadequate (1,2). Many diets continue to lack recommended servings of foods naturally high in fiber like fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and whole grains resulting in low fiber intake (3). Three new studies contribute to the growing body of evidence for the health benefits of added fibers in the diet. These types of fiber can be added to a wide range of foods and contribute similar health benefits as "intact" fibers, providing a viable option to help people increase their fiber intake to achieve daily recommendations (3). Each of the studies was supported by Tate & Lyle, a global leader in health and wellness innovation and provider of specialty food ingredients.
High Fiber Food Chart: Foods High in Dietary Fiber
Improved Bowel Health
Recently published in the Journal of Nutrition, Timm et al. reported that 36 healthy adults consuming 20 grams of added fiber, either STA-LITE® Polydextrose or PROMITOR® Soluble Corn Fibreper day, in addition to their usual lower fiber diet, which was approximately 13-14 g/day compared to the recommended 25 g/day for women and 38 g/day for men (3), experienced improved laxation with minimal gastrointestinal tolerance issues4. These results indicate that both types of fiber tested in this study are well tolerated and can be successfully added to the diet to help meet dietary recommendations.
"Since people aren't meeting their fiber goals with the foods they currently eat, adding fibers to foods is a realistic and simple way to address this global public health concern," said Joanne Slavin, PhD, RD of the University of Minnesota, an expert in fiber research and lead investigator of this study.
Maintained Satiety after a Meal
Another study which was presented this week at the American Society for Nutrition Experimental Biology conference in Boston, using a double blind, randomized cross-over design found that an emerging fiber, soluble fiber dextrin (SFD) from Tate & Lyle, may help promote satiety, or the feeling of fullness, from 3 to 8.5 hours after consumption (5). Tate & Lyle's soluble fiber dextrin is a resistant dextrin that can be isolated from tapioca or corn.
Researchers from Iowa State University provided 41 healthy adults with lunch including a test beverage containing 10 or 20 g of fiber from tapioca SFD versus a maltodextrin control beverage followed by a snack two and a half hours later. The study participants reported feeling fuller, less feeling of hunger and less desire to eat compared to the control beverage from 3 to 8.5 hours after consumption of the beverage that contained 20 g of fiber as SFD, while the SFD had no impact on appetite or overall food intake during the first 2.5 hours post consumption. These results indicate that the SFD may be slowly digested leading to delayed effects on appetite.
"This newly developed soluble fiber dextrin can increase fiber intake, helping consumers meet fiber recommendations, while simultaneously controlling their appetite which may lead to reduced energy intake," stated James Hollis, PhD, a lead researcher on the study.
Increased Calcium Absorption
A third study (6), also presented at the American Society for Nutrition Experimental Biology conference in Boston, assessed the effect of PROMITOR® Soluble Corn Fiber(SCF) on fecal microbiota (bacterial environment of the gut) in relation to calcium absorption in 24 racially diverse, male and female adolescents a population in need of adequate calcium intake for bone growth and development. Researchers from Purdue University found that when the adolescents consumed 12 g/day of SCF versus a control, they experienced a 12% increase in calcium absorption. This increase in calcium absorption was correlated with significant increases in specific strains of beneficial bacteria, namely Bacteroides, Alistipes, Butyricicoccus, Oscillibacter, and Dialister in the gut suggesting that SCF may increase calcium absorption through changes in gut microbiota (6).
"Emerging research on soluble corn fiber indicates that added fibers provide health benefits such as increased calcium absorption via their effect on beneficial bacteria" said Connie Weaver, PhD, a lead researcher on this study. This is the first study to show that increases in these specific bacteria were significantly correlated with the observed increase in calcium absorption.
Meeting Fiber Intake Recommendations
Most fiber recommendations for adults call for intakes ranging from 25-38 g/day depending on country specific worldwide guidelines (3). While individuals should increase their consumption of dietary fiber from sources such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and whole grains, fibers added to foods, like PROMITOR® Soluble Corn Fiber*, STA-LITE® Polydextrose, and soluble fiber dextrin, can help close the gap between recommended and actual intakes of fiber while providing additional health benefits such as increased calcium absorption, improved gut health, and increased satiety.
"The results from these new studies add to the growing body of research that supports the addition of fibers to foods that consumers are already eating, which easily allows for increased fiber intakes and provides added health benefits," said Priscilla Samuel, PhD, Director of Global Nutrition for Tate & Lyle. "Tate & Lyle is committed to investment in innovation and research to ensure that our ingredients, which can be incorporated into great tasting foods, can also help consumers meet their nutrition, health and wellness needs every day."
1 - U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. www.cnpp.usda.gov/dgas2010-dgacreport.htm
2 - Spiller GA (ed.) CRC Handbook of Dietary Fiber in Human Nutrition, 3rd Edition. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, Fla. 2001.
3 - Gray J. Dietary Fiber. Definition, Analysis, Physiology and Health. ILSI Europe Dietary Fiber Concise Monograph Series. 2006. www.ilsi.org.ar/index.phpcom=descarga&que=publicaciones&id=80
4 - Timm DA, Thomas W, Boileau TW, Williamson-Hughes PS, Slavin JL. Polydextrose and Soluble Corn Fiber Increase Five-Day Fecal Wet Weight in Healthy Men and Women. J Nutr. 143:473-478;2013.
5 - Hutchinson C, Hsu WH, Hollis JH. Effect of soluble fiber dextrin on postprandial appetite and subsequent food intake in healthy adults. Presented at Experimental Biology. Boston, MA. April 20-24, 2013.
6 - Whisner CM, Nakatsu CH, Martin BR, McCabe LD, McCabe GP, Weaver CM. Soluble corn fiber modulates calcium absorption by altering colonic microbiota.. Poster at Experimental Biology. Boston, MA. April 20-24, 2013.
This quality-reviewed article relating to our Nutrition and Healthy Food section was selected for publishing by the editors of Disabled World due to its likely interest to our disability community readers. Though the content may have been edited for style, clarity, or length, the article "Impact of Fiber on Health Indices" was originally written by FoodMinds LLC, and published by Disabled-World.com on 2013/04/23 (Updated: 2021/05/02). Should you require further information or clarification, FoodMinds LLC can be contacted at foodminds.com. Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith.
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Disabled World is an independent disability community founded in 2004 to provide disability news and information to people with disabilities, seniors, their family and/or carers. See our homepage for informative reviews, exclusive stories and how-tos. You can connect with us on social media such as X.com and our Facebook page.
Disabled World provides general information only. The materials presented are never meant to substitute for qualified professional medical care, nor should they be construed as such. Funding is derived from advertisements or referral programs. Any 3rd party offering or advertising does not constitute an endorsement.