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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Dietary Fiber

Authors
item Bliss, Donna - UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
item Jung, Hans Joachim

Submitted to: American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2006
Publication Date: July 15, 2007
Citation: Bliss, D.Z., Jung, H.G. 2007. Fiber. In: Gottschlich, M.M., editor. The A.S.P.E.N. Nutrition Support Core Curriculum: A Case-Based Approach--The Adult Patient. Silver Springs, Maryland: American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. p. 88-103.

Technical Abstract: This chapter explores the role of dietary fiber in human diets, health, and medicine. Dietary fiber contributes to human health by maintenance of normal gastrointestinal tract function. The polysaccharides and lignin present in cell walls of plant-derived foods are the primary source of dietary fiber in our diet. Some polysaccharides (cellulose and hemicellulose) are slowly and poorly degraded and fermented by the human gut microflora, whereas pectic polysaccharides are rapidly degraded and fermented to yield short-chain fatty acids. Dietary fiber fermentation products enhance sodium and water absorption by colon cells, affect motility of the gastrointestinal tract, and exert anti-inflammatory and anti-neoplastic intestinal effects. Non-digested dietary fiber contributes to water-holding capacity and speeds digesta passage through the gut, thereby reducing exposure to pathogenic bacteria and carcinogens. Recommended daily intake of dietary fiber in normal diets is discussed, and the inclusion of dietary fiber sources in diets of tube-fed patients undergoing medical care is outlined. A case study for tube feeding a patient incapable of swallowing is presented, along with a study guide and review questions.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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