Over the last 40 to 50 years, research into the analysis, physical properties and health effects of dietary fibre has continued steadily. Based on this research, countries have developed guidelines on the optimal amount of fibre to be consumed each day and food composition tables from many countries now contain values for the dietary fibre content of foods.
This review assessed the homogeneity of the analytical methods used and recommendations and intakes. Particularly national intake surveys across Europe and around the world were investigated. It also assessed permitted health claims and the current knowledge on the effect of total diet and different fibre types on health.
The overall intent was to be able to provide more detailed guidance on the types of fibre which should be consumed for good health. National dietary survey data showed that intakes do not meet recommendations and very few countries provide guidance on the types of fibre that are preferable to achieve recommended intakes. Research gaps were identified and ideas suggested for more detailed advice about which specific food sources should be consumed to achieve health benefits.
The present study was initiated by ILSI Europe’s Nutrient Intake Optimisation Task Force.
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