Dietary fibers are non-digestible polysaccharides functionally known as microbiota-accessible carbohydrates (MACs), present in inadequate amounts in the Western diet. MACs are a main source of energy for gut bacteria so the abundance and variety of MACs can modulate gut microbial composition and function. This, in turn, impacts host immunity and health. In preclinical studies, MAC-deprived diet and disruption of gut homeostasis aggravate the development of inflammatory diseases, such as allergies, infections, and autoimmune diseases. The present review provides a synopsis on the impact of a low-MAC diet on gut homeostasis or, more specifically, on gut microbiota, gut epithelium, and immune cells.
Keywords: dietary fiber; epithelium; gut barrier; gut homeostasis; gut microbiota; immunity; microbiota-accessible carbohydrates.