Dietary fibres in the regulation of appetite and food intake. Importance of viscosity

Appetite. 2011 Feb;56(1):65-70. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2010.11.147. Epub 2010 Nov 27.


Dietary fibres have many functions in the diet, one of which may be to promote control of energy intake and reduce the risk of developing obesity. This is linked to the unique physico-chemical properties of dietary fibres which aid early signalling of satiation and prolonged or enhanced sensation of satiety. Particularly the ability of some dietary fibres to increase viscosity of intestinal contents offers numerous opportunities to affect appetite regulation. Few papers on the satiating effect of dietary fibres include information on the physico-chemical characteristics of the dietary fibres being tested, including molecular weight and viscosity. For viscosity to serve as a proxy for soluble dietary fibres it is essential to have an understanding of individual dietary fibre viscosity characteristics. The goal of this paper is to provide a brief overview on the role of dietary fibres in appetite regulation highlighting the importance of viscosity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Appetite Regulation / drug effects*
  • Appetite Regulation / physiology
  • Dietary Fiber / analysis
  • Dietary Fiber / pharmacology*
  • Energy Intake / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Intestines / drug effects
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Satiation / drug effects*
  • Viscosity*