Authors: Blackwood AD,Salter J,Dettmar PW,Chaplin MF,
Address: Food Research Centre, South Bank University, 103 Borough Road, London SE1 0AA, England.
Journal: J R Soc Promot Health.
Publication: 2000 Dec;120(4):242-7.
Dietary carbohydrates that escape digestion and absorption in the small intestine include non-digestible oligosaccharides (carbohydrates with a degree of polymerisation between three and ten), resistant starch and non-starch polysaccharides. The physiological effects of this heterogeneous mixture of substrates are partly predictable on the basis of their physicochemical properties. Monosaccharide composition and chain conformation influence the rate and extent of fermentation. Water-holding capacity affects stool weight and intestinal transit time. Viscous polysaccharides can cause delayed gastric emptying and slower transit through the small bowel, resulting in the reduced rate of nutrient absorption. Polysaccharides with large hydrophobic surface areas have potentially important roles in the binding of bile acids, carcinogens and mutagens. Ispaghula is capable of binding bile acids through a large number of weak binding sites on the polysaccharide structure, and having greatest effect on the potentially more harmful secondary bile acids deoxycholic acid and lithocholic acid.