Effects of Different Types of Dietary Fibers on Fermentation by Intestinal Flora
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Purpose: A treatment for chronic constipation is dietary fiber intake. This study aimed to determine the effects of different types of dietary fibers on the microbiota in the large intestine.
Methods: Nine healthy volunteers participated in this study. Breath hydrogen test was used to determine the dietary fiber fermentations. The presence of hydrogen in the breath indicates intestinal bacterial activities. Participants fasted overnight and ate white bread (200 g) with 10 g of each type of dietary fiber: (1) cellulose, (2) soy fiber, (3) guar gum, and (4) control (without any dietary fiber). Samples were collected before and every 1 hour after eating, for 8 h. Another test compared the effects between cellulose and guar gum with a loaded food, which activates intestinal fermentation, and samples were collected using the same methods.
Results: During 8 h of measurements, breath hydrogen concentration in the soy fiber group were higher than that of the control, but were not significantly different. Changes in the guar gum group were similar to those in the control. However, breath hydrogen concentrations in the cellulose group did not increase even after eating white bread that caused large intestinal fermentation 2.9 ± 0.7 ppm, which was significantly lower than that of the guar gum group (7.4 ± 1.7 ppm, p < 0.01). In the study with a well-fermented food intake, cellulose reduced breath hydrogen concentrations, but its difference with that of the guar gum group was statistically non-significant.
Conclusion: Cellulose might have a suppressive effect on large intestinal fermentation. Therefore, this compound may be beneficial in treating chronic constipation.
Hiroshima Journal of Medical Sciences
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Hiroshima University Medical Press
Departmental Bulletin Paper
Departmental Bulletin Papers
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