Answer to Question #191048 in Organic Chemistry for Natasha

Question #191048

Why are soluble fibers identified as prebiotics?

How does soluble fiber influence human blood cholesterol and sugar levels?

Expert's answer

Although some fiber cannot be digested by humans, it can be broken down by the microbes in our gut – a community of bacteria called the gut microbiota. Like fiber, prebiotics also act as food for beneficial microbes in the gut, and many current prebiotics are actually considered to be a form of soluble dietary fiber.

Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or "bad," cholesterol levels. Studies also have shown that high-fiber foods may have other heart-health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation.

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