Dietary Fibre Consensus from the International Carbohydrate Quality Consortium (ICQC)

Augustin LSA, Aas MA, Astrup A, Atkinson FS, Baer-Sinnott S, Barclay AW, Brand-Miller JC, Brighenti F, Bullo M, Buyken AE, Ceriello A, Ellis PR, Ha MA, Henry JC, Kendall CWC, La Vecchia C, Liu S, Livesey G, Poli A, Salas-Salvadó J, Riccardi G, Riserus U, Rizkalla SW, Sievenpiper JL, Trichopoulou A, Usic K, Wolever TMS and Jenkins DJA.
Nutrients 2020,12,2553



Dietary fibre is a generic term describing non-absorbed plant carbohydrates and small amounts of associated non-carbohydrate components. The main contributors of fibre to the diet are the cell walls of plant tissues, which are supramolecular polymer networks containing variable proportions of cellulose, hemicelluloses, pectic substances, and non-carbohydrate components, such as lignin. Other contributors of fibre are the intracellular storage oligosaccharides, such as fructans.

A distinction needs to be made between intrinsic sources of dietary fibre and purified forms of fibre, given that the three-dimensional matrix of the plant cell wall confers benefits beyond fibre isolates. Movement through the digestive tract modifies the cell wall structure and may affect the interactions with the colonic microbes (e.g., small intestinally non-absorbed carbohydrates are broken down by bacteria to short-chain fatty acids, absorbed by colonocytes). These aspects, combined with the fibre associated components (e.g., micronutrients, polyphenols, phytosterols, and phytoestrogens), may contribute to the health outcomes seen with the consumption of dietary fibre. Therefore, where possible, processing should minimise the degradation of the plant cell wall structures to preserve some of its benefits. Food labelling should include dietary fibre values and distinguish between intrinsic and added fibre. Labelling may also help achieve the recommended intake of 14 g/1000 kcal/day.