Evaluation of the relative available energy of several dietary fiber preparations using breath hydrogen evolution in healthy humans

J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2014;60(4):246-54. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.60.246.


A standardized simple, indirect method for assessing the relative energy of dietary fiber carbohydrates is not yet established. There is a need for a standardized in vivo assay. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the relative available energy (RAE) for 9 major dietary fiber materials (DFMs) based on fermentability from breath hydrogen excretion (BHE) in subjects. Fructooligosaccharide (FOS) was used as a reference. The study was conducted using a within-subject, repeated measures design and approved by the Ethical Committee of University of Nagasaki. After DFM ingestion, end-expiratory gas (750-mL) was collected at 1-h intervals for 8 h, as well as at 2-h intervals between 8 h and 14 h, and 30 min after waking up and 24 h after DFM ingestion. Breath hydrogen concentration was assessed with a gas chromatograph. The RAE of DFMs tested was evaluated based on the area under the curve (AUC) of BHE of FOS. Based on the ratio of AUC for 8 h, the RAE of polydextrose, partially hydrolysed guar gum, resistant maltodextrin and partially hydrolysed alginate was 1 kcal/g, and that of glucomannan, heat-moisture treatment and high-amylose cornstarch and cellulose was 0 kcal/g, while the RAE of all tested DEMs including cellulose and glucomannan was 1 kcal/g in the calculation based on AUCs for 14 h and 24 h in subjects. We suggest that a breath hydrogen collection period of 14 h or more could be used to measure RAE for a range of fiber preparations in vivo.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alginates / metabolism
  • Amylose / metabolism
  • Area Under Curve
  • Breath Tests
  • Cellulose / metabolism
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism*
  • Dietary Fiber / metabolism*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Female
  • Fermentation*
  • Galactans / metabolism
  • Glucans / metabolism
  • Glucuronic Acid / metabolism
  • Hexuronic Acids / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen / metabolism*
  • Mannans / metabolism
  • Oligosaccharides / metabolism
  • Plant Gums / metabolism
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism*
  • Reference Values
  • Starch / metabolism
  • Young Adult


  • Alginates
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Galactans
  • Glucans
  • Hexuronic Acids
  • Mannans
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Plant Gums
  • Polysaccharides
  • fructooligosaccharide
  • (1-6)-alpha-glucomannan
  • maltodextrin
  • Hydrogen
  • Glucuronic Acid
  • Cellulose
  • Starch
  • Amylose
  • guar gum
  • polydextrose