Technical Terms Dictionary
Effect on our Metabolism
Dietary fibres have a strong influence on our metabolism and digestive organs, the exact effect depending on their specific structure. They can impact the stool texture and gut flora. It is important to drink an adequate amount of fluids, as insufficient fluid supply in combination with a high fibre diet will cause constipation.
There are dietary fibres of plant and of animal origin. Cellulose, lignin and pectin are among the first, collagen and gelatin, gristle and skin belong to the latter category. Dietary fibres are classified as non-nutrients. The largest part is simply expelled by the body. A small rest, however, is fermented in the large intestine, and the decomposition products from this bacterial fermentation are usable for the body.
Chemically, dietary fibres are mainly polysaccharides composed of carbohydrate chains in various lengths. We differentiate between water soluble and non-water soluble dietary fibres. Among the first are locust bean gum, pectin, resistant starch, insulin, gum, mucilage, beta glucane and gelatinous substances.
Non-water soluble fibres are cellulose, certain types of hemicellulose and lignin.
The recommended intake for adults is 30 g/1000 kcal daily, and 10 G/1000 kcal for children and adolescents.
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