Viscosity as related to dietary fiber: a review

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2006;46(8):649-63. doi: 10.1080/10408390500511862.


Viscosity is a physicochemical property associated with dietary fibers, particularly soluble dietary fibers. Viscous dietary fibers thicken when mixed with fluids and include polysaccharides such as gums, pectins, psyllium, and beta-glucans. Although insoluble fiber particles may affect viscosity measurement, viscosity is not an issue regards insoluble dietary fibers. Viscous fibers have been credited for beneficial physiological responses in human, animal, and animal-alternative in vitro models. The following article provides a review of viscosity as related to dietary fiber including definitions and instrumentation, factors affecting viscosity of solutions, and effects of viscous polysaccharides on glycemic response, blood lipid attenuation, intestinal enzymatic activity, digestibility, and laxation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cricetinae
  • Dietary Fiber* / pharmacology
  • Dietary Fiber* / statistics & numerical data
  • Digestion / physiology
  • Female
  • Glycemic Index / physiology
  • Humans
  • Intestines / drug effects
  • Intestines / enzymology
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Swine
  • Viscosity


  • Dietary Fiber
  • Lipids
  • Polysaccharides