Dietary fibers reduce obesity-related disorders: mechanisms of action

Miski Dayib, Jacob Larson, Joanne Slavin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Dietary fibers decrease risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity, but the most important mechanisms for fiber's protective properties are debated. The purpose of the review is to summarize the recent human studies that examine mechanisms how dietary fiber decreases risk of obesity-related disorders. RECENT FINDINGS: Dietary fiber has effects throughout the digestive tract that decrease risk of obesity-related diseases. Soluble, viscous fibers slow absorption of and decrease serum cholesterol. Intake of dietary fiber enhances satiety and reduces food intake at future meals. The importance of gut fermentation and changes in the gut microbiota and metabolites are linked to decrease risk for obesity-related disorders. Dietary fibers alter the gut microbiota and produce metabolites such as short-chain fatty acids that may explain fiber's role in obesity prevention and treatment. Dietary fiber encompasses many plant compounds, so conclusions that dietary fiber reduces or treats obesity-related disorders must be considered by the fiber was fed in the study. SUMMARY: Dietary fiber prevents and treats obesity-related disorders. Mechanisms for this protection include decreased absorption of macronutrients and enhanced satiety. Changes in the gut microbiota and short-chain fatty acids are emerging mechanisms to explain why high fiber diets protect against obesity and have a role in obesity treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-450
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review


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