Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Fibrous material is an integral part of the daily diet, and it exerts direct physiological effects throughout the gastrointestinal tract, in addition to affecting metabolic activities more indirectly. The interplay of these effects is responsible for the presumed desirable influence of fibre on weight regulation, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, and on colon function. Numerous mechanisms of action have been identified which are related to the type and the physicochemical nature of the fibre. This review concentrates mainly on the serum cholesterol-lowering effect of dietary fibre, its colonic fermentation, and finally on some possible adverse effects that one should be aware of when consuming high amounts of dietary fibre.
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