The effect of dietary fiber on human pancreatic enzyme activity in vitro

Am J Clin Nutr. 1981 Jun;34(6):1034-5. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/34.6.1034.


Human pancreatic juice was used as a source of amylase, lipase, trypsin, and chymotrypsin. The human pancreatic juice was incubated with one of several dietary fibers, including alfalfa, oat bran, pectin. Solka Floc, wheat bran, and xylan. In addition, the human pancreatic juice was incubated without any fiber, which was used as the control. Incubation with Solka Floc (cellulose) and xylan (a hemicellulose) resulted in a substantial loss of activity in all enzymes assayed. Wheat bran and oat bran decreased amylase and chymotrypsin activity, while alfalfa decreased trypsin and chymotrypsin activity. Incubation with pectin significantly increased amylase and chymotrypsin activity. The mechanism by which sources of dietary fiber can alter enzyme activity is currently unknown. This effect of a dietary component on the activity of human pancreatic enzymes emphasizes the need to investigate further the effects of dietary fiber on digestion and absorption in the small intestine to understand fully its effects on metabolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amylases / metabolism
  • Cellulose / pharmacology*
  • Chymotrypsin / metabolism
  • Dietary Fiber / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Lipase / metabolism
  • Pancreatic Juice / enzymology*
  • Trypsin / metabolism


  • Dietary Fiber
  • Cellulose
  • Lipase
  • Amylases
  • Chymotrypsin
  • Trypsin