The relation between dietary fibre and the well-being of human and other monogastrics has
recently became a hot topic as shown by the increasing number of publications of the related research.
The aim of this review is to describe - through a logical approach - the scientific suggestion linking possible
benefits of dietary fibre on nutritional components and their effect on the gastrointestinal composition
in relation to disease conditions in humans and animals. Dietary fibre plays a key role in: influencing
blood glucose or insulin concentrations, stool bulkiness, reducing the pH within the digestive tract,
synthesising volatile fatty acids (VFA), reducing intestinal transit time, stimulating growth of intestinal
microbes, and constructively enhancing various blood parameters. The available literature suggests that
fibre influences the bioavailability of nutrients and maintains the host’s well-being by controlling disorders
and disease prevalent with a Western way of living such as constipation and diarrhoea, diabetes,
obesity, gastrointestinal inflammation, atherosclerosis, and colon cancer. Although there are some studies
demonstrating that dietary fibre may be effective in the prevention and treatment of these disorders,
the mechanisms involved are yet to be understood.
Keywords: Dietary fiber, gastrointestinal tract, microbial composition, nutritional components, feeding disorders, VFA.
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