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dietary fibreIndigestible plant-derived residues composed predominantly of cellulose, hemicellulose and cell wall polymers. Dietary fibre (e.g., bran lignin, pectin) provides stool bulk, increasing the transit time for nutrients in (surgically) shortened gastrointestinal tracts, and decreasing the transit time in long or constipated gastrointestinal tracts. Dietary fibre improves the plasma lipid ratios, resulting in a 10–17% decrease in cholesterol (including decreased LDL-cholesterol) as well as a reduced dietary intake of energy, fat and cholesterol-rich foods. Increased dietary intake of fibre is associated with decreased colon cancer and tumour regression in premalignant familial adenomatous polyposis and diverticulosis; low dietary fibre consumption has been linked to colorectal cancer, diverticulitis, increased cholesterol, gallbladder disease, constipation and appendicitis.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
dietary fibreA group of complex carbohydrates that includes plant cellulose, lignin, pectins and gums. These polysaccharides resist digestion and thus cannot be absorbed, but remain in the intestine until excreted, providing a useful sense of fullness or satiety. Fibre and is of value in the management of OBESITY. It bulks out the stool and is useful in the treatment of CONSTIPATION and DIVERTICULITIS. Dietary fibre reduces the risk of colorectal cancer possibly by removing carcinogens. Some soluble fibres bind bile cholesterol and prevent it from being reabsorbed. This can lower blood cholesterol. High fibre foods include vegetables and fruits, bran, beans, peas and nuts.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005