Dietary fiber is defined as complex carbohydrates that are resistant to the action of digestive enzymes, and therefore pass through the intestinal tract, unabsorbed. Dietary fiber includes substances such as cellulose, hemicellulose (xylans, galactans and mannans), pectins, gums, and lignin. Dietary fiber has many nutritional benefits for the health of the gastrointestinal tract. Insoluble dietary fiber, such as cellulose and many hemicelluloses, are not efficiently fermented in the colon. As a result, they provide fecal bulk, bind water, and help soften stools. Soluble dietary fiber, such as pectin, many gums, and some hemicelluloses, are fermented in the colon to varying degrees. This results in lower colonic pH (acidity) and the production of short chain fatty acids, which are important for the intestinal microflora and the health of the mucosal cells. Short chain fatty acids also have a role in facilitating colonic water absorption. Many insoluble and soluble fiber types bind dietary cholesterol and bile acids in the intestine, and therefore play an important nutritional role in the enterohepatic circulation of cholesterol and cholesterol metabolism in general. Most types of dietary fiber, when hydrated, contribute substantially to the volume of stomach contents and help provide a feeling of fullness. Fiber-Plex was formulated to take advantage of all of the physiological benefits of fiber by combining a wide variety of insoluble, non-fermentable and soluble, fermentable natural fiber sources.
Glucomannan is a partially fermentable, soluble fiber extracted from the konjac root (yam family). This hemicellulose fiber is noted for its high water-binding capacity, and may have a beneficial role in cholesterol metabolism. Carrot and celery powders provide a rich array of soluble and insoluble dietary fibers, including cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin and lignin. Sodium alginate is a soluble partially fermentable fiber derived from seaweed. Pectin is a soluble dietary fiber noted for its ability to provide beneficial short chain fatty acids for the colon. Fiber-Plex provides both types of naturally occurring pectins: high- and low-methoxyl pectins. Slippery elm powder supplies a number of gums and mucilages that are important for the mucous lining of the gastrointestinal tract.