This article, written by Andreu Prados, clarifies the definition and health implications of the closely related terms fiber, MACs and prebiotics. “While we have known for a while that a diet consisting of fiber-rich foods reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases and lowers people’s mortality rate, scientists have only recently started elucidating why fiber is beneficial for human health”, he says.

Main ideas of the text:

  • Fiber can be utilized by gut microbes, but this is not a requirement.
  • Microbiota-accessible carbohydrates: a novel term, included in the definition of fiber, for carbohydrates that must be metabolized by the microbiota.
  • Selective utilization by resident microbes and proven health benefits: key features that differentiate prebiotics from dietary fiber and MACs.

More information, here