Dietary fiber as a carrier of dietary antioxidants: an essential physiological function

J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Jan 12;59(1):43-9. doi: 10.1021/jf1036596. Epub 2010 Dec 10.


The literature addresses dietary fiber (DF) and antioxidants (AOX) separately as nonrelated compounds. This paper proposes to show that DF and AOX could be approached jointly in nutrition and health studies because around 50% of the total dietary antioxidants, mainly polyphenolics, traverse the small intestine linked to dietary fiber. These antioxidants have received little attention so far. They release the fiber matrix in the colon by the action of the bacterial microbiota, producing metabolites and an antioxidant environment. The content of polyphenols associated with DF in different foods and their potential health-related properties, including animal experiments and human trials, are reviewed. It is concluded that the transportation of dietary antioxidants through the gastrointestinal tract may be an essential function of DF.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Colon / metabolism
  • Colon / microbiology
  • Dietary Fiber / metabolism*
  • Flavonoids / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Phenols / metabolism
  • Polyphenols


  • Antioxidants
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Polyphenols