Inderscience Publishers

Dietary fibre and human health

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Food habits of new lifestyle have contributed to the appearance of chronic diseases such as obesity or cardiovascular diseases, which are mainly due to bad eating habits. Solutions can be found in providing the consumers with functional foods and health capability. Such food is rich in dietary fibre, with specific physicochemical behaviour and healthy properties. Dietary fibre rich food products are associated with physiological actions in the small and large intestine, having important implications in human health. These properties include water dispersibility and solubility, viscosity effects, bulk, absorption and fermentability, and binding of other compounds. These properties may lead to various physiological actions such as reducing cholesterol and attenuating blood glucose, maintaining gastrointestinal health, and positively affecting calcium bioavailability and immune function. Moreover, based on their physiochemical properties, many of the new sources of dietary fibre can help to improve the health benefits of new generations. This review paper gives an overview of occurrence, structures and various physiological effects of dietary fibres.

Keywords: dietary fibre, dietary recommendations, carbohydrates, polysaccharides, blood glucose, heart disease, human health

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