Carob pulp preparation rich in insoluble dietary fiber and polyphenols enhances lipid oxidation and lowers postprandial acylated ghrelin in humans

J Nutr. 2006 Jun;136(6):1533-8. doi: 10.1093/jn/136.6.1533.


Ghrelin is an orexigenic hormone that may affect substrate utilization in humans. Ghrelin is influenced by macronutrients, but the effects of insoluble dietary fiber and polyphenols are unknown. We investigated the effects of a polyphenol-rich insoluble dietary fiber preparation from carob pulp (carob fiber) on postprandial ghrelin responses and substrate utilization. Dose-dependent effects of the consumption of carob fiber were investigated in a randomized, single-blind, crossover study in 20 healthy subjects, aged 22-62 y. Plasma total and acylated ghrelin, triglycerides, and serum insulin and nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) levels were repeatedly assessed before and after ingestion of an isocaloric standardized liquid meal with 0, 5, 10, or 20 g of carob fiber over a 300-min period. The respiratory quotient (RQ) was determined after consumption of 0 or 20 g of carob fiber. Carob fiber intake lowered acylated ghrelin to 49.1%, triglycerides to 97.2%, and NEFA to 67.2% compared with the control meal (P < 0.001). Total ghrelin and insulin concentrations were not affected by consumption of a carob fiber-enriched liquid meal. Postprandial energy expenditure was increased by 42.3% and RQ was reduced by 99.9% after a liquid meal with carob fiber compared with a control meal (P < 0.001). We showed that the consumption of a carob pulp preparation, an insoluble dietary fiber rich in polyphenols, decreases postprandial responses of acylated ghrelin, triglycerides, and NEFA and alters RQ, suggesting a change toward increased fatty acid oxidation. These results indicate that carob fiber might exert beneficial effects in energy intake and body weight.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antidiarrheals / administration & dosage
  • Antidiarrheals / pharmacology*
  • Calorimetry, Indirect
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Fiber / pharmacology*
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Galactans / administration & dosage
  • Galactans / pharmacology*
  • Ghrelin
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mannans / administration & dosage
  • Mannans / pharmacology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptide Hormones / blood*
  • Phenols / pharmacology*
  • Plant Gums
  • Polyphenols
  • Postprandial Period
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Antidiarrheals
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Flavonoids
  • Galactans
  • Ghrelin
  • Mannans
  • Peptide Hormones
  • Phenols
  • Plant Gums
  • Polyphenols
  • Triglycerides
  • locust bean gum