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Table 1 Dietary fibre- physico-chemical characteristics and relationships to gut effects (modified from [9])

From: “Dietary fibre”: moving beyond the “soluble/insoluble” classification for monogastric nutrition, with an emphasis on humans and pigs

DF characteristic GIT effect Systemic effect References
Water-holding capacity & viscosity Slows gastric emptying;
Changes digesta mixing;
Alteration of digestive enzyme activity;
Stimulates passage rate;
Slows digestion, especially of protein and lipids;
Associated with reduced plasma cholesterol;
Blunting of glycaemic response
[11,12,13]
Bulking Gastric distension;
Changes in mixing & diffusion;
Decrease food intake; [14, 15]
Adsorption of compounds (e.g. bile salts, polyphenols & minerals) Increases bile acid excretion & other compounds;
Retention of polyphenols until large intestine;
Blood cholesterol; fermentation of polyphenols; [16, 17]
Encapsulation Plant cell walls encapsulate e.g. starch granules; Transport of starch (resistant) to LI for fermentation; [18,19,20,21]
Fermentability Increases microbial biomass & fermentation end-products (e.g. SCFA);
Induces selection of specific microbes;
Energy for colonocytes; influences satiety; faecal bulking; “colonization resistance” to pathogens; [22, 23]