Dietary fiber stimulates the growth of potentially beneficial bacteria (eg, bifidobacteria), yet most Americans do not meet daily fiber recommendations. Resistant maltodextrin (RMD), a fermentable functional fiber, may help individuals meet total fiber recommendations and potentially increase bifidobacteria. It was hypothesized that fecal bifidobacteria counts/ng fecal DNA would increase after adding 25 g RMD to inadequate fiber diets of healthy adults. In this double-blind, controlled crossover study, 51 participants (26.3 ± 6.8 years, mean ± SD) were randomized to consume 0, 15, and 25 g RMD daily for 3 weeks followed by a 2-week washout. Participants collected all stools for 2 days at weeks 0 and 3 of each intervention for stool wet weight (WW) measurements and fecal bifidobacteria counts. Weekly 24-hour dietary recalls assessed total fiber intake. Only 25 g RMD resulted in a change (final minus baseline) in bifidobacteria that was significant compared with 0 g (0.17 ± 0.09 vs -0.17 ± 0.09 log10[counts], respectively, mean ± SEM, P = .008). Stool WW increased only with 25 g (150 ± 11 vs baseline 121±11 g/d; P = .011). Mean daily total fiber intake (including RMD) was significantly higher (both P< .001) with 15 g (17.8 ± 0.6 g/1000 kcal or 4184 kJ) and 25 g (25.3 ± 1.1 g/1000 kcal) compared with 0 g RMD (8.4±0.4 g/1000 kcal). Mean daily total fiber intakes exceeded recommendations (14 g/1000 kcal) with 15 and 25 g of RMD, and 25 g RMD increased fecal bifidobacteria counts and stool WW, suggesting health benefits from increasing total fiber intake.
Keywords: Bifidobacteria; Gastrointestinal function; Healthy adults; Resistant maltodextrin; Stool wet weight.
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