The influence of partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG) fiber on the intestinal microbiota
Of current interest is the role of indigestible food components such as dietary fiber in the daily diet. Here, the authors discuss the findings of two recent studies to assess the role and effects of partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG) as a prebiotic dietary fiber:
Part 1, based on a literature review, describes the influence of the intestinal microbiota on the health status of humans and clarifies whether PHGG consumption has a health-promoting effect on the microbial population. Ten studies on five different disease patterns showed that PHGG fiber has a health-promoting effect on diet-related conditions. Part 2, based on a research project, describes the results of a laboratory analysis on the prebiotic potential of the water-soluble fiber, Sunfiber, which is derived from PHGG, and on the growth of 20 microbial strains. The results show that Sunfiber is actively metabolized by most of the strains tested.
The large intestine contains approximately 95% of the entire human microbial population. Responsible for important functions such as protection, nutrient processing and signaling, the microcosm of the intestinal microbiome is under intense scrutiny, especially as scientists try to better understand which aspects are beneficial and/or harmful to human health (1).
PART 1: THE INTESTINAL MICROBIOTA
The human microbiome (in this case, the sum of all bacteria found on mucous membranes) is described by many scientists as the “super organ” of the human body (2, 19). The intestinal microbiota in particular is increasingly becoming the focus of scientific research. According to PubMed, a total of 74,218 studies have focused on the human microbiome, microbiota or microflora (as of 2019) and 50% of these concern the intestinal environment (1). Most active bacteria are found in the large intestine and have a density not found anywhere else in nature (1010–1012 colony forming units (CFU) per mL). In addition, the intestine contains approximately 10–100 times more microbes than the rest of the human body (3). This impressive figure sugge ...