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Evaluation of the relative available energy of several dietary fiber preparations using breath hydrogen evolution in healthy humans.

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Graduate School of Human Health Science, University of Nagasaki, Siebold.


A standardized simple, indirect method for assessing the relative energy of dietary fiber carbohydrates is not yet established. There is a need for a standardized in vivo assay. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the relative available energy (RAE) for 9 major dietary fiber materials (DFMs) based on fermentability from breath hydrogen excretion (BHE) in subjects. Fructooligosaccharide (FOS) was used as a reference. The study was conducted using a within-subject, repeated measures design and approved by the Ethical Committee of University of Nagasaki. After DFM ingestion, end-expiratory gas (750-mL) was collected at 1-h intervals for 8 h, as well as at 2-h intervals between 8 h and 14 h, and 30 min after waking up and 24 h after DFM ingestion. Breath hydrogen concentration was assessed with a gas chromatograph. The RAE of DFMs tested was evaluated based on the area under the curve (AUC) of BHE of FOS. Based on the ratio of AUC for 8 h, the RAE of polydextrose, partially hydrolysed guar gum, resistant maltodextrin and partially hydrolysed alginate was 1 kcal/g, and that of glucomannan, heat-moisture treatment and high-amylose cornstarch and cellulose was 0 kcal/g, while the RAE of all tested DEMs including cellulose and glucomannan was 1 kcal/g in the calculation based on AUCs for 14 h and 24 h in subjects. We suggest that a breath hydrogen collection period of 14 h or more could be used to measure RAE for a range of fiber preparations in vivo.

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