Highly Refined Fiber In Processed Food Could Result In Severe Health Issues
November 8, 2018
Shruti Anand (1479 articles)
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Highly Refined Fiber In Processed Food Could Result In Severe Health Issues

The researchers at the Georgia State University and the University of Toledo found that adding highly refined fiber to processed food can have severe health problems. These can range from jaundice to even liver cancer. “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.”

Presence Of Fiber In Processed Food

“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 individuals. Hence, we think the recent FDA rule change that has effectively encouraged marketing of fiber-fortified food as health-promoting is ill-conceived and should be reconsidered.”

“The inulin used in this study is coming from chicory root, not a food we would normally eat. In addition, during the extraction and processing of the fiber, it goes through a chemical process,” said Vishal Singh, a postdoctoral fellow from The University of Toledo and one of the lead researchers in the study. “We importantly demonstrated that soluble fiber, while it generally beneficially impacts health, can also become detrimental, leading to diseases as severe as liver cancer,” said Dr. Benoit Chassaing, assistant professor in the Neuroscience Institute at Georgia State. “However, we do not want to promote that fiber is bad. Rather, our research highlights that fortifying processed foods with fiber may not be safe to certain individuals with gut bacterial dysbiosis, in whom consumption of purified fiber may lead to liver cancer.”

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Shruti Anand

Shruti Anand

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