Soluble Fibre

Soluble Fibre

Soluble fibre & Insoluble dietary fibres have gained significant research attention owing to its reported potential in delivering health benefits through changes in gut microbiota composition and their metabolic activities. Dietary fibre is the roughage in whole plant derived food that cannot be completely broken down by human digestive enzymes.

Soluble fibre – which dissolves in water – is the food source of gut bacteria and they digest or ferment to physiologically active by-products, such as Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) and gases in the colon.

Prebiotic fibres are the fermentable components of most vegetable and fruit fibres as well as their isolated or extracted off-spring in the supplements market. Much of these supplements focus only on soluble fibre losing the great benefits of complex insoluble fibre.

Insoluble fibre – Complex dietary fibres from whole-plant sources are becoming recognised as vital parameters in influencing the gut microbial diversity in contrast to isolated or purified forms.

Introduction

Introduction

Most research on dietary fibres have examined a variety of isolated or purified fibre ingredients (predominantly soluble fibre only) that represent limited biochemical complexity after chemical and heat processing, contrasting to the bioactives that inherently occur in plant sources such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. However, the biochemical complexity of dietary fibres is finding new appreciation as a governing factor that influences gut microbial diversity.

Moreover, commonly used dietary supplements including inulin for instance are known to ferment rapidly in the gastrointestinal tract often resulting in undesirable symptoms that include bloating and abdominal discomfort. This underpins a great value of stepping back from the popular trends of highly processed and reductionist “extracts” of dietary fibres to whole-plant dietary fibres that are virgin processed to retain the inherent biochemical complexity of fibre as well as beneficial phytonutrients including antioxidants and bioactive nutrients that are representative of whole plant vegetables and fruits.

pexels polina tankilevitch 4110256 1

Kfibre and a low fibre diet

Kfibre and a low fibre diet

Nutritional Information and biochemical complexity

Nutritional Information and biochemical complexity

In this regard, a virgin processed (no chemical, low heat) dietary fibre from sugarcane Kfibre TM, that is manufactured with only mechanical stress and water to dilute the sugar content, with subsequent decanting, drying and grinding; is known to retain the structural features of plant cellular materials and preserve other intrinsic nutritional and biologically active components. Sugarcane is a grass bred for high sucrose yields. Conventionally, it is crushed for high extraction yield of sugar with the resulting bagasse fibre being depleted in complex polysaccharides as well as being damaged in high temperature drying for energy recovery through steam generation. However, dietary fibre from sugarcane with virgin processing retains micronutrients and polyphenols, contains both soluble and insoluble benefits , as well as rapid- and slow-fermentable fibres at ratios that more accurately represent natural whole plant foods. High dietary fibre content (84.5%) as shown in table could be accounted for anti-inflammatory effects observed in in-vivo and clinical studies .

Uniform fermentation in the colon and anti-inflammatory effects

Uniform fermentation in the colon and anti-inflammatory effects

While the underlying mechanisms of DF are thought to be multifactorial, the production of metabolites through bacterial fermentation, particularly short chain fatty acids (SCFA) are regarded as the major potential mechanistic contributors to beneficial effects of dietary fibres. SCFAs are important fermentation products that possess excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Isolated DFs, particularly purified soluble fibre’s are shown to ferment rapidly by the gut flora in the terminal iluem and proximal region of the colon producing SCFAs and excessive gas Excess gas production causes the intestines to expand causing the intestinal walls to stretch thus producing the undesirable symptoms including bloating and abdominal cramps. Adverse gastrointestinal symptoms are commonly associated with gut disorders including IBS, colorectal cancer and IBD. Thus, a more uniform fermentation of DF with both slow-and fast fermenting fibre fractions would be beneficial in patients with sensitive guts.

pexels olenka sergienko 3604314 1

How the food you eat affects your gut?

Whole-plant virgin sugarcane fibre

Whole-plant virgin sugarcane fibre

Whole-plant virgin sugarcane fibre is shown to ferment at a uniform rate and results in significant SCFA levels via microbial synthesis. Supplementation of complex whole-plant sugarcane fibre alone and in combination with probiotic bacteria has been confirmed to impart anti-inflammatory effects on colonic tissues in mice models of IBD through production of SCFAs along the entire colon length. In a similar recent study, such supplementation was also reported to significantly reduce the colitis- associated diseases symptoms in-vivo and influence microbial diversity in the proximal and distal regions of the colon resulting in attenuation of gut inflammation. The whole-plant sugarcane fibre has been previously demonstrated to impart positive effects on human gut microbiota in-vitro, particularly influencing the abundance of members of family Bifidobacteriaceae. Compared with the other dietary fibre supplements tested (wheat dextrin and psyllium husk), the whole plant sugarcane fibre was reported to show highest availability of polyphenols and antioxidant potential. Previous reports have confirmed increase in the abundance of Bifidobacteriaceae family upon addition of polyphenol extracts and polyphenol rich foods.

The retention of high-fibre content (natural and inherent ratios of soluble and insoluble dietary fibre fractions) and other phytonutrients in the whole-plant sugarcane fibre supplement could be accounted for with respect to its positive effects in gut health management. The relative similarity of this sugarcane fibre product to that in other whole plant foods indicates its potential as a convenient supplementary source of dietary fibre that could alter microbial ecology and have a positive influence for attenuation of gut inflammation.

How the food you eat affects your gut?

Whole plant vegetable fibre or isolated & purified fibre extracts

Whole plant vegetable fibre or isolated & purified fibre extracts

For optimal health & wellbeing as well as keeping preventable disease at bay, maintaining a healthy gut is not a novel concept. Scientists, dieticians, physicians, and even sophisticated consumers now bet on investing in gut health to harness the power of the billions of bacteria that live in the gut and the benefits they can bring to your overall health.

The best potential is delivered by feeding these billions of little support creatures with the food they love — dietary fibre. Prebiotic dietary fibres are carbohydrates that our body cannot digest and remain intact in the small intestine. As these carbohydrates are not absorbed, the path leads them the colon (also known as the large intestine) and the resident bacteria will use the dietary fibre for energy through a process called fermentation. The fermentation produces gases (carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and methane) and beneficial short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs – majorly acetate, butyrate, and propionate). SCFAs are important fermentation products that possess excellent anti-inflammatory properties (1). Butyrate for example is the main energy source for the cells that line our gut and maintain the barrier integrity. Acetate after absorption is metabolized for energy by muscles. Propionate is a gluconeogenic substrate that functions to inhibit cholesterol synthesis.

It is important however to appreciate the fact that the rate and the site of fermentation in the gastrointestinal tract is vital. This is particularly important if you are suffering from gut related issues including IBS, IBD, indigestion and the associated symptoms like bloating, abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, and constipation. In this view, it is also crucial to appreciate that not all dietary fibres are created equal. Plant sources carry different types of dietary fibres — soluble, insoluble, fermenting, or non-fermenting and all have roles to serve in our digestive health. Other phytonutrients in plant foods with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacities like the polyphenols also provide many health benefits.

pexels vusal ibadzade 1272367 1

Current Dietary Fibre Supplements

Current Dietary Fibre Supplements

Most dietary fibre supplements available in the market today are isolated, extracted, or purified forms and may present several disadvantages:

1. Limited biochemical complexity relative to those from the whole plant sources like fruits and vegetables. They are usually stripped of bioactives and antioxidant nutrients that the plant source would inherently provide. These isolated dietary fibres tend to ferment rapidly in the terminal iluem (the part of small intestine) and proximal region of the colon producing excessive gas. Excess gas production causes the intestines to expand causing the intestinal walls to stretch thus producing the undesirable symptoms including bloating and abdominal cramps. This is an issue particularly in people with sensitive gut.

2. Some isolated dietary fibres are known to only selectively support the population of certain bacteria e.g., Bifidobacteria. While Bifidobacteria are beneficial bacteria and common as probiotics, it is important to point out that improving the overall gut microbial diversity rather than targeting specific species is regarded as the most effective means of acquiring the health benefits. This is because a number of microbial species are interdependent on each other for fermentation of fibres to SCFAs. Bifidobacterium bacteria for instance are efficient primary degraders of certain soluble fibres to produce intermediate products (like acetate, lactate, mono/oligosaccharides), which are then utilised by other bacteria (like the Eubacterium rectale and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii) then produce the butyrate. Others like the Akkermansia species are major producers of propionate. Therefore, supporting the microbial diversity is critical to promote sufficient levels of different SCFAs.

3. With respect to the rapid fermentation of certain types of dietary fibres in the proximal parts of the colon, the SCFAs produced may not be sufficient to provide the nourishment to the distal region of the colon. Demonstrating the critical relevance, studies in humans and animals confirm that the distal colon is the site of greatest organic disease with significant inflammation and altered microbial diversity. It is clear that the delivery of butyrate to this part of the colon may be especially important.

Kfibre and Dietary constipation

Not all Fibres are Created Equally

Not all Fibres are Created Equally

As mentioned earlier, not all fibres are created equal and in opposition to the limitations listed above a start-up company has found a way to turn the sugarcane into a total dietary fibre supplement (sucrose removed) — The product, Kfibre proposes excellent gut health management potential. It is a whole-plant complex dietary fibre sourced from virgin processed sugarcane and manufactured by using organic processing principles (minimally processed, low heat, no chemicals, GMO free) to remove sucrose and retain the biochemical complexity of both soluble and insoluble dietary fibres in addition to preserving other phytonutrients and antioxidants inherently available in sugarcane.

The virgin sugarcane dietary fibre is high in soluble and insoluble dietary fibre, is low in calories, imparts low GI benefits to blended foods, is low FODMAP-accredited, gluten and food allergen free.

Due to the retention of biochemical complexity, phytonutrients and the intact insoluble and soluble fibre fractions the sugarcane fibre has been shown to ferment at a more uniform rate through the entire colon length nourishing the proximal and importantly the distal colon.

University research has confirmed the excellent potential of this fibre in areas such as colonic inflammation, gut barrier integrity, influence the microbial diversity and boost the levels of SCFAs along the entire colon length. In these studies, the anti-inflammatory benefits boosted even further when Kfibre was paired with a fibre-digesting probiotic bacterium as synbiotic. In addition, in a recent pilot clinical study, 3-week consumption of Kfibre showed marked reduction in digestive symptoms (heartburn, acid regurgitation, and total symptoms scores) in first time sufferers reporting heartburn.

This virgin sugarcane fibre was created in 2006 and in that time much research has demonstrated it may be a powerful new player in the “food is medicine” space and deliver the prebiotic health promises that have not been delivered by the isolated and purified soluble fibre market leaders.

The virgin sugarcane fibre product, “Kfibre” is already approved and on the market and if there is a conclusions to this review , the science says “if you take an isolated soluble only fibre supplement for gut health reasons, make the change to this whole plant vegetable fibre”.

Kfibre – The whole story on the “whole colon”

Kfibre – The whole story on the “whole colon”

Kfibre reports and markets itself as fermenter throughout the “whole colon” and the most common technical question we get is “show me” the supporting research, because that is what’s missing from a practitioner’s tool kit…

Kfibre has technical marketing documents that display the broad research (Health Care Practitioners Summary), however we thought it was time to give a laser focus on the issue and unleash the research, as most people asking the question are looking for the practitioner level answer that separates Kfibre from an isolated or purified soluble fibre.

Kfibre and IBS/FODMAP

Technical & Practitioner level activated…

Technical & Practitioner level activated…

Regarding Kfibre fermentation / SCFA production and activity in the regions of the colon; please see the below notes and the attached reference papers.

1. In vitro fermentation of sugar cane fibre https://doi.org/10.1111/ijfs.14069

  • This study reports lower fermentation rates compared to Arabinoxylan standard in a porcine faeces inoculum, however higher SCFA levels in some categories (butyrate) and proposes the benefits to the distal colon as subsequently studied below.

2. Nutrients 2019, 11, 818; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040818

  • Synbiotic Supplementation Containing Whole Plant Sugar Cane Fibre and Probiotic Spores Potentiates Protective Synergistic Effects in Mouse Model of IBD
  • This paper confirms fermentation products and analysis of resultant short chain fatty acids from the caecum, proximal colon and the distal colon in a mouse model for IBD and the prebiotic sugarcane fibre. This includes caecal, mucosal-associated & faecal – cytokine, histological, CRP, SCFA, Disease Activity Index of the various intestinal samples and tissues. This is impractical to carry out in humans as the organ & tissue collection processes required sacrifice of the mice.
  • The study confirmed the production of SCFAs along the entire colon length (caecal, mucosal-associated, and faecal samples tested) in the mice group that received Kfibre supplemented diet versus that received the normal diet. The outcome reflects the ability of ingested Kfibre in uniform fermentation and production of SCFAs during its journey in the colon and also supported by the concurrent reduction in pro-inflammatory biomarkers (reduction in secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and CRP levels especially in the distal colonic region as well as
    protection/improvement in colonic barrier integrity functions).

3. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2380; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082380

  • Modulating the Microbiome and Immune Responses Using Whole Plant Fibre in Synbiotic Combination with Fibre-Digesting Probiotic Attenuates Chronic Colonic Inflammation in Spontaneous Colitic Mice Model of IBD
  • Similar results with respect to the production of SCFAs along the colon length have been confirmed in chronically inflamed genetically mutant IBD model in this latest study as attached. This study in addition to supporting previously confirmed Kfibre’s ability in modulating diseases biomarkers also demonstrated the ability of Kfibre in influencing microbial diversity in site-specific colonic regions (caecal, mucosal-associated and faecal samples)
  • Kfibre-mediated microbial alterations, particularly some of the fibre digesting producing bacterial members (Prevotella, Akkermansia etc) were noted to be in correlation with the augmented SCFAs levels in the colon.
  • The research report that this paper is based upon contains the following quote from A/Professor Raj Eri :
  • “The presence of Kfibre in the mouse diet was essential for production of SCFA along the whole length of the colon. It can be inferred that the complexity of the cell wall components of the Kfibre gives a complex mix of rapidly fermentable DFs and resistant slowly digestible DF enabling this spread of production of the SCFA along the colon. 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.”

4. Front. Microbiol., 20 July 2018 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.01618 – attached

  • This study includes in vitro analysis of SCFAs from 6 human faecal samples incubated with sugarcane fibre and other common fibres. Noted increases in SCFA levels and diversity of bacterial species, particularly Bifidobacteria.

5. Dietary Fibre from Virgin Sugarcane https://encyclopedia.pub/4168

  • This article was authored by the UTAS researcher of the IBD study; Dr Tanvi Shinde, as a discussion on complex fibres and microbial diversity of the proximal & distal colon.

If you have further questions or would like to collaborate on research going forward, then please reach out to info@kfibre.com and you’ll be connected with the technical team.

Ready to change your Gut Health?

Order Now

Enter your information to stay up to date with Kfibre

    By entering your email address you agree to receive our quarterly cookbook on how to use Kfibre and improve your health. You will also receive relevant information about improving your overall health from our trusted third parties. You can easily opt-out (unsubscribe) at any time. For more information please review our privacy policy and terms and conditions.