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Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2005 Nov;8(6):636-40.

A place for dietary fibre in the management of the metabolic syndrome.

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  • 1Unit of Pharmacokinetics, Metabolism, Nutrition and Toxicology, Catholic University of Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.



To control the global increase of obesity and associated-metabolic syndrome, nutritional advice remains an important objective. This review discusses factors that may explain how dietary fibre would be helpful in the management of food intake, body weight and metabolic syndrome.


Dietary fibre could play a role in the management of the metabolic syndrome through its ability to control body weight evolution through its effect on satiety; to modulate glucose homeostasis/insulin sensitivity and to positively affect factors implicated in cardiovascular diseases. The relevance and the relative importance of these effects in control of metabolic syndrome remain unknown. Recent experimental data suggest that the modification of gut peptides--involved in appetite and glucose homeostasis--could constitute a 'metabolic relay' allowing specific (fermentable) dietary fibre to act on appetite and other components of the metabolic syndrome.


Dietary fibre intake may modulate parameters associated with the control of the metabolic syndrome, namely food intake (and body weight), glycemia and insulinemia, blood lipids and blood pressure. The efficacy of dietary fibre differs according to their dietary sources (fruits, legumes or cereals), but also to their specific chemical structure, responsible for their physical properties (i.e. gel forming capacity) or for their fermentation capacity in the lower part of the gut. The fermentability of dietary fibre seems important to generate specific effects on satiety and glycemia through the release of gut peptides such as glucagon-like peptide-1.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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