Adding refined fiber to processed food could have negative health effects, study finds

ScienceDaily | 10/19/2018 | Staff
Caris (Posted by) Level 3
Accumulating evidence demonstrates consumption of whole foods naturally rich in fiber confers an array of health benefits. This, combined with an appreciation by many health-conscious consumers that their diets are lacking in such fibers, has led to the food industry enriching foods with highly refined soluble fibers, such as inulin. Recently, changes in U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules allow foods containing supplemented fibers to be marketed as health-promoting. This study raises serious concerns about the safety of adding refined fiber to processed foods.

The researchers set out to test the idea that a diet enriched with refined inulin might help combat obesity-associated complications in mice. While such an inulin-containing diet did stave off obesity, some of the mice started to develop jaundice. After six months, many of these mice developed liver cancer.

Finding - Dr - Matam - Vijay-Kumar - University

"Such a finding was really surprising," said Dr. Matam Vijay-Kumar of the University of Toledo and senior author of the study, "but at the same time we recognized their potential importance and accepted the challenge of exploring how processed dietary soluble fiber was inducing liver cancer."

Although this study was performed in mice, it has potential implications for human health, particularly cautioning against enriching processed foods with highly refined, fermentable fiber.

Findings - Foods - Fibers - Benefits - Fruits

"These findings indicate that enriching foods with purified fibers may not recapitulate the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables naturally rich in soluble fiber," said Dr. Andrew Gewirtz, professor in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State and one of the study's authors. "Moreover, it may result in serious, life-threatening liver cancer in some...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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