Dietary fibre, such as indigestible oligosaccharides and polysaccharides, occurs in many foods and has gained considerable importance related to its beneficial effects on host health and specific diseases. Dietary fibre is neither digested nor absorbed in the small intestine and modulates the composition of the gut microbiota. New evidence indicates that dietary fibre also interacts directly with the epithelium and immune cells throughout the gastrointestinal tract by microbiota-independent effects. This review focuses on how dietary fibre improves human health and the reported health benefits that are connected to molecular pathways, in (a) a microbiota-independent manner, via interaction with specific surface receptors on epithelial and immune cells regulating intestinal barrier and immune function, and (b) a microbiota-dependent manner via maintaining intestinal homeostasis by promoting beneficial microbes, including Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, limiting the growth, adhesion, and cytotoxicity of pathogenic microbes, as well as stimulating fibre-derived microbial short-chain fatty acid production.

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Journal British Journal of Pharmacology
Cai, Y. (Yang), Folkerts, J. (Jelle), Folkerts, G, Maurer, M. (Marcus), & Braber, S. (Saskia). (2019). Microbiota-dependent and -independent effects of dietary fibre on human health. British Journal of Pharmacology. doi:10.1111/bph.14871