Among the components of dietary fiber, the soluble fibers have been found to impair glucose absorption. Little is known, however, about the mechanism of this effect. The direct action of soluble fibers (chicory water-soluble extract and inulin) on the intestinal absorption of glucose was investigated in gutperfused rats. After equilibrium, both jejunal and ileal segments were simultaneously perfused with an isotonic electrolyte solution (pH 7.4) containing glucose (10 mmol/L) and chicory water-soluble extract (chicory extract) or inulin (10 g/L). Each test or control solution was perfused in random sequence, with perfusion times of 30 min. Chicory extract or inulin in the perfusate (10 g/L) inhibited the absorption of glucose from jejunum (P < 0.05). The observed changes in glucose and water absorption caused by chicory extract or inulin were reversible after switching to a fiberfree perfusate. Additionally, net water absorption changed to secretion upon addition of chicory extract or inulin. These results suggest that the reduction in intestinal absorption of glucose observed after perfusion of chicory extract or inulin may be caused by viscosity-related increases in mucosal unstirred layer thickness.