Chapter

Dietary Fibre — A Component of Food

Part of the series ILSI Human Nutrition Reviews pp 295-332

Dietary Fibre and Plasma Lipids: Potential for Prevention and Treatment of Hyperlipidaemias

  • A. S. Truswell
  • , A. C. Beynen

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Abstract

One of the major postulates of the dietary fibre hypothesis (Trowell, 1972) was that coronary heart disease (CHD) is associated with diets low in fibre and a high-fibre diet may protect against CHD. The most obvious direct mechanism for such an effect is by reduction of plasma total and LDL-cholesterol, presumably by some interference with sterol metabolism which would have to start in the gastro-intestinal tract, since fibre is by definition indigestible (by human enzymes) and so not absorbable as such. It is difficult to visualise how any other direct mechanism could work, such as a reduced tendency to thrombosis, reduced blood pressure or reduced liability to dangerous cardiac arrhythmias, from eating more dietary fibre.