Fibre supplements come in many forms, some are soluble only, isolated and purified. Others are a more akin to vegetable and fruit fibres in the foods we would traditionally eat.
Fibre Supplements are considered to be a subgroup of functional dietary fibre. According to the Institute of Medicine functional fibre’s consists non-digestible carbohydrates that have beneficial physiological effects in humans. Consumption of fibre supplements may be for: improving dietary fibre intake, irritable bowel syndromes, lowering blood cholesterol, increasing feelings of satiety & weight management.
The majority of diet recommendations regarding fibre recommend the average adult consumes 25 to 38 grams fibre per day. To reach this amount a variety of plants, vegetables and grains is preferred, nevertheless supplements are available to fill the fibre gap in many of the fibre target gut issues.
This article will provide a comparison of the soluble, insoluble, and intact plant cell wall (whole plant) fibres that are available.
Rationale for Fibre Supplement Use
Best Fibre or Good Marketing
This discussion will begin with the lessor known of the fibre food supplements, called Kfibre – a whole plant complex prebiotic dietary fibre from sugarcane (sugar removed).
“The plant cell wall structure of Kfibre is highly related to other fruit and vegetable cellular material but without the levels of accompanying carbohydrate sugars or lipids that are present in most. Fruits and vegetables typically have 1.0-1.8 % (dry weight/wet weight) of fibre. A 3 – gram dose of Kfibre is therefore about the same fibre content of 166-300 g of fruit or vegetable. For a typical serve of fruit and vegetables being 75-grams, this dose is the fibre equivalent of 2 – 4 serves of fruit and vegetables. Application of Kfibre therefore allows manipulation of levels of cellular fibre in the diet independent of any significant change in energy content.”
This statement alone provides a window into the vegetable value of Kfibre versus an isolated soluble only fibre. Kfibre is a “food” supplement fibre.