Dietary fiber is a nutritional concept based not on physiological functions but on defined chemical and physical properties. Recent definitions of dietary fiber differentiate inherent plant cell wall-associated fiber from isolated or synthetic fiber. For the latter to be defined as fiber, beneficial physiological effects should be demonstrated, such as laxative effects, fermentability, attenuation of blood cholesterol levels, or postprandial glucose response. Grain fibers are a major natural source of dietary fiber worldwide, while inulin, a soluble indigestible fructose polymer isolated from chicory, and polydextrose, a synthetic indigestible glucose polymer, have more simple structures. Inulin and polydextrose show many of the same functionalities of grain fiber in the large intestine, in that they are fermentable, bifidogenic, and laxative. The reported effects on postprandial blood glucose and fasting cholesterol levels have been modest, but grain fibers also show variable effects. New biomarkers are needed to link the physiological functions of specific fibers with long-term health benefits.
"It presents the same properties of fibers and promotes a shorter time passing through the intestines and improves the consistency of the stool [5,6]. It also acts as a substrate for beneficial endogenous microbes, allowing an increase in their levels and activity in the intestinal lumen [7,8]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Constipation is a frequent complaint and the combination of a prebiotic and probiotics could have a potentially synergic effect on the intestinal transit. The present study therefore aims to investigate the combination of polydextrose (Litesse®), L. acidophilus NCFM® and B. lactis HN019 in a yogurt on intestinal transit in subjects who suffer from constipation.
Patients with constipation were randomly divided into two groups, Control Group (CG) and Treatment Group (TG), and had to eat 180 ml of unflavored yogurt every morning for 14 days. Those in the CG received only yogurt, while the TG received yogurt containing polydextrose, L. acidophilus NCFM® (ATCC 700396) and B. lactis HN019 (AGAL NM97/09513).
Favourable clinical response was assessed since Agachan score had a significant reduction at the end of the study in both groups and tended to be better in the TG. The subjects in the treatment group also had a shorter transit time at the end of the intervention compared to the control group (p = 0.01).
The product containing yogurt with polydextrose, B. lactis HN019 and L. acidophilus NCFM® significantly shortened colonic transit time after two weeks in the TG compared to CG and may be an option for treatment of constipation.
"Adoption of CODEX-aligned definitions provides a strategy to help address the fiber gap by acknowledging the role of both intrinsic and added fibers. The ‘all fibers fit’ mantra means that healthy diets include the various fiber types . Constructing a diet with a balance of DF types is analogous to constructing a diet with the correct amount and balance of the vitamins needed for optimal health. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A comprehensive dietary fiber (DF) definition was adopted by the CODEX Alimentarius Commission (CAC) (1) to reflect the current state of knowledge about DF, (2) to recognize that all substances that behave like fiber regardless of how they are produced can be named as DF if they show physiological benefits, and (3) to promote international harmonization for food labeling and food composition tables. This review gives the history and evolution of the state of DF knowledge as looked at by refinements in DF methods and definitions subsequent to the launch of the DF hypothesis. The refinements parallel both interventional and epidemiological research leading to better understanding of the role of DF in contributing to the numerous physiological benefits imparted by all the various digestion resistant carbohydrates. A comparison of the CODEX definition (including its footnote that authorizes the inclusion of polymers with DP 3-9) and approved CODEX Type 1 methods with other existing definitions and methods will point out differences and emphasize the importance of adoption of CODEX-aligned definitions by all jurisdictions. Such harmonization enables comparison of nutrition research, recommendations, food composition tables and nutrition labels the world over. A case will be made that fibers are analogous to vitamins, in that they vary in structure, function and amount needed, but each when present in the right amount contributes to optimal health. Since the intake of DF is significantly below recommended levels throughout the world, the recognition that 'all fibers fit' is an important strategy in bridging the 'fiber gap' by enfranchising and encouraging greater intake of foods with inherent and added DF. Fortifying foods with added DF makes it easier to increase intakes while maintaining calories at recommended levels.
"As the diet composition (excessive fat and low carbohydrate) was not representative for the human diet, and there was no control group in which the added gluten was exchanged for another isolated protein type, to assure out that the effects observed were gluten specific effect rather than a general protein content effect, we feel that it is premature to follow the authors conclusion that gluten exclusion helps in reducing body weight and that it can be a new dietary approach to prevent the development of obesity and related sickness in the general human population. Such statements on the adverse effects of gluten-containing (whole-)wheat are diametrically opposite to the observations that the consumption of whole grain and whole grain fibre significantly improves blood glucose control, improves cholesterol levels, reduces blood pressure and lowers the serum concentration of high sensitivity C-reactive protein , a marker of low grade inflammation (Gaskins et al., 2010; Jenkins et al., 2007; Masters et al., 2010; Qi et al., 2006; Raninen et al., 2011) These observations all indicate improvement in overweight related metabolic dysregulation (syndrome X) and have been attributed largely to the fibre (b-glucan and arabinoxylan) and phytochemicals (phenolics, sterols, tocols and vitamins) that are concentrated in the aleurone layer of the bran (Brouns et al., 2011) as well as present in the wheat germ fraction. These compounds, as depicted in Fig. 2 (adapted from Barron et al. (2007), are thought to exert synergistic effects on specific health-related metabolic processes (Fardet, 2010). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: After earlier debates on the role of fat, high fructose corn syrup, and added sugar in the aetiology of obesity, it has recently been suggested that wheat consumption is involved. Suggestions have been made that wheat consumption has adverse effects on health by mechanisms related to addiction and overeating. We discuss these arguments and conclude that they cannot be substantiated. Moreover, we conclude that assigning the cause of obesity to one specific type of food or food component, rather than overconsumption and inactive lifestyle in general, is not correct. In fact, foods containing whole-wheat, which have been prepared in customary ways (such as baked or extruded), and eaten in recommended amounts, have been associated with significant reductions in risks for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and a more favourable long term weight management. Nevertheless, individuals that have a genetic predisposition for developing celiac disease, or who are sensitive or allergic to wheat proteins, will benefit from avoiding wheat and other cereals that contain proteins related to gluten, including primitive wheat species (einkorn, emmer, spelt) and varieties, rye and barley. It is therefore important for these individuals that the food industry should develop a much wider spectrum of foods, based on crops that do not contain proteins related to gluten, such as teff, amaranth, oat, quinoa, and chia. Based on the available evidence, we conclude that whole-wheat consumption cannot be linked to increased prevalence of obesity in the general population.
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