Soluble Corn Fiber May Improve Gut Health and Increase Calcium Absorption
Very few Americans get the recommended daily 19-38 grams of fiber through diet alone and many believe that eating more fiber can cause problems with the digestive system. Two recent studies suggest that high intake of soluble corn fiber can be digested without side effects and may improve gut health and increase calcium absorption.
The first study included 23 teenagers between the ages of 12 and 15 years old. For three weeks they were given a special diet that included 12 grams of soluble corn fiber. After a one week washout period, they were given the identical diet for two more weeks, without the 12 grams of soluble fiber.
The researchers noted that the fiber diet resulted in an increase in several strains of beneficial bacteria in the gut. In addition, the gut environment was changed which enabled greater calcium absorption.
The second study tested tolerance of high amounts of soluble corn fiber. 20 adults took a single loading dose followed by multiple doses of soluble corn fiber over the course of a day. They were able to take up to 40 grams in a single dose and up to 65 grams in total in one day without digestive side effects.
The first study was conducted by researchers at Purdue University and was presented at the 14th International Symposium on Microbial Ecology in Copenhagen, Denmark. The second study was published in the October 2012 issue of the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics and was conducted by researchers at Tate & Lyle.
Previous studies have linked soluble fiber consumption with blood sugar regulation, prevention of heart disease and breast cancer prevention.
If you are unable to find a corn fiber supplement, other sources of soluble fiber include beans, oatmeal, carrots, apples, lentils, flaxseed, berries, and nuts.