To identify any metabolic effects of dietary fiber upon cholesterol metabolism in man, six adult volunteer subjects were fed eucaloric cholesterol-free formula diets, with and without added dietary fiber for two 4-wk periods. A large quantity of dietary fiber was fed, some 60 g of plant cell wall material (or 16 g of crude fiber) derived from corn, beans, bran, pectin, and purified cellulose. This provided about five times the fiber intake of the typical American diet. The addition of fiber to the cholesterol-free diet did not change either the plasma cholesterol level (171±21 mg/dl, SEM, to 167±18) or the triglyceride (103±39 to 93±27 mg/dl). The excretion of both endogenous neutral steroids and bile acids were unchanged with fiber (505±41 to 636±75 mg/day and 194±23 to 266±47 mg/day, respectively.) However, total fecal steroid excretion was increased 699±29 to 902±64 mg/day, P < 0.025). With fiber, intestinal transit time was decreased (59±9 to 35±8 h, P < 0.005), and both the wet and dry stool weights were greatly increased.
Thomas L. Raymond, William E. Connor, Don S. Lin, Susan Warner, Martha M. Fry, Sonja L. Connor