New View on Dietary Fiber Selection for Predictable Shifts in Gut Microbiota.


Department of Food Science, Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA [Email]


Dietary fibers can be utilized to shape the human gut microbiota. However, the outcomes from most dietary fibers currently used as prebiotics are a result of competition between microbes with overlapping abilities to utilize these fibers. Thus, divergent fiber responses are observed across individuals harboring distinct microbial communities. Here, we propose that dietary fibers can be classified hierarchically according to their specificity toward gut microbes. Highly specific fibers harbor chemical and physical characteristics that allow them to be utilized by only a narrow group of bacteria within the gut, reducing competition for that substrate. The use of such fibers as prebiotics targeted to specific microbes would result in predictable shifts independent of the background microbial composition.


dietary fiber,fiber response,fiber specificity,gut microbiota,

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