Composition, properties and health benefits of indigestible carbohydrate polymers as dietary fiber: a review

Int J Biol Macromol. 2013 Oct;61:1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2013.06.044. Epub 2013 Jul 2.


In last few decades, indigestible carbohydrates as dietary fiber have attracted interest of food scientists and technologists due to its several physiological benefits. Dietary fibers are generally of two types based on their solubility, i.e. soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Significant physicochemical properties of dietary fiber include solubility, viscosity, water holding capacity, bulking and fermentability. Some important dietary fibers are celluloses, hemicelluloses, hydrocolloids, resistant starches and non-digestible oligosaccharides. Inclusion of these fibers in daily diet imparts several health benefits such as prevention or reduction of bowel disorders, and decrease risk of coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Keywords: Carbohydrate polymers; Dietary fiber; Gums; Health benefits; Properties.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Carbohydrates* / metabolism
  • Dietary Fiber* / metabolism
  • Health*
  • Humans
  • Polymers* / chemistry
  • Polymers* / metabolism


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Polymers