Benefits of Fiber
The health benefits of dietary fiber are widely recognized by experts in the health and science communities as well as government authorities. Many scientists have linked the intake of dietary fiber to reduction in the risk of numerous diseases. These include improvements in bowel function and intestinal transit, gastrointestinal health, blood sugar and insulin response, obesity, high cholesterol (hyperlipidemia), high blood pressure (hypertension), and some cancers.
Three major mechanisms are responsible for the physiological benefits of dietary fiber: (1) bulking, (2) viscosity, and (3) fermentation. Some dietary fibers contribute benefits through more than one mechanism – i.e., psyllium contributes both bulking and viscosity. These mechanisms, with different dietary fibers known for these effects, are shown in the following diagrams:
All types of fiber are needed every day for the body to function well.