Dietary fibers and their role in body weight control and obesity

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An increased dietary fiber intake is directly linked to benefits on metabolism, such as a reduction of body weight and prevention of type 2 diabetes and obesity. A great number of studies carried out on animals and humans have confirmed this evidence. What was unknown until now was the mechanism behind these results. A new study carried out by a team of French researchers showed that the beneficial effects linked to fermented fibers are due to their ability to regulate intestinal glucose. This study published on Cell, related dietary fibers to the production of intestinal glucose. In particular, it has been noted that intestine is able to produce glucose and to release it into blood stream between meals and during the night. 
This phenomenon is detected by the nerves in the walls of the hepatic portal vein, which in turn, send a nervous impulse to the brain producing a decrease in the feeling of hunger, an increase in energy consumption at rest and the reduction of hepatic glucose: these factors have a positive impact on diabetes and obesity.

Reference: De Vadder, F., Kovatcheva-Datchary P., et al., “Microbiota-Generated Metabolites Promote Metabolic Benefits via Gut-Brain Neural Circuits”, Cell, published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.12.016


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