All Fiber is Not Fiber

Shahrose Rahman, Kristin Trone, Caleb Kelly, Andrea Stroud, Robert Martindale

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Epidemiologic studies and clinical trials have demonstrated the benefits of dietary fiber. This occurs through a combination of the physiochemical properties of fiber and through microbial fermentation that occurs in the colon which result in the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). The purpose of this review is to highlight the physiochemical properties of fiber that result in the range of physiologic effects and to review the literature on the health benefits of acetate, propionate, and butyrate. Recent Findings: Of the variety of properties and functions exerted by dietary fibers, the fermentability and production of SCFA’s are emphasized in this review. Studies done in both animal and humans reveal the anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory, and possible anti-neoplastic roles SCFAs exert at the mucosal level. Summary: Many clinical questions remain regarding the optimal dose, type, and method of delivery of fiber to exert the desired beneficial effects. It has the potential to be used in the management of clinical symptoms, prevention of disease, and improvement in human health. Further studies to address this novel use of fiber has the potential to make a large impact in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent gastroenterology reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • Acetate
  • Butyrate
  • Constipation
  • Dietary fiber
  • Propionate
  • Short chain fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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