Nutrition Education and Racial Disparities in Health


Detox Blog Series Part 4 | Fiber and Metabolic Detoxification

Key Topics: Digestive Health
March 29, 2018 • 2 min read

Diet rich in fibers improves bowel movement, and may expedite the elimination of toxins from the body.

Diets rich in fiber improve bowel movement and may expedite (or facilitate) the elimination of toxins from the body, providing support for phase III of detoxification.1-2 Soluble dietary fibers facilitate urinary excretion of toxic elements.3 Several studies illustrate the impact of fiber on the detoxification process:

  • Water-soluble dietary fibers from apple peels have shown significant binding capacities for toxic elements.4
  • A study in elderly men on low fiber diets showed that consumption of Isomalto-Oligosaccharides (IMO or IO) effectively improved bowel movement, stool output, and microbial fermentation in the colon. Therefore, supplementation of IO into ordinary low fiber diets may be practical in relieving constipation in the elderly population.2
  • A clinical study showed that oral administration of modified citrus pectin (MCP), a soluble fiber, significantly increases the urinary excretion of toxic metals in subjects with a “normal” body load of metals.5
  • A mixture of dietary fiber containing water-soluble dietary fibers from apple peels and water-insoluble dietary fibers from wheat bran and soybean-seed hull showed significant binding capacities for toxic elements (Pb, Hg, and Cd) and low binding capacity for the toxic anion ASO33+.4
  • Dietary fiber (including fibers from apple) exerts a considerable effect on microbiota composition and on fecal short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production in the elderly.6
  • The soluble dietary fiber MCP has been shown to be an effective chelator of lead in children hospitalized with toxic lead levels. MCP is a dietary supplement derived from the inner white pulp of citrus fruit peels. Citrus pectin is a complex polysaccharide that is a soluble fiber.3

Read part 5 of the Detox Blog Series.

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  1. Yen, C. H., Tseng, Y. H., Kuo, Y. W., Lee, M. C., Chen, H. L. (2011). Long-term supplementation of isomalto-oligosaccharides improved colonic microflora profile, bowel function, and blood cholesterol levels in constipated elderly people--a placebo-controlled, diet-controlled trial. Nutrition, 27 (4), 445-50.
  2. Chen, H. L., Lu, Y. H., Lin, J. J., Ko, L. Y. (2001). Effects of isomalto-oligosaccharides on bowel functions and indicators of nutritional status in constipated elderly men. J Am Coll Nutr, 20 (1), 44-9.
  3. Zhao, Z. Y., Liang, L., Fan, X., Yu, Z., Hotchkiss, A. T., Wilk, B. J., Eliaz, I. (2008). The role of modified citrus pectin as an effective chelator of lead in children hospitalized with toxic lead levels. Altern Ther Health Med, 14 (4), 34-8.
  4. Zhang, N., Huang, C., Ou, S. (2011). In vitro binding capacities of three dietary fibers and their mixture for four toxic elements, cholesterol, and bile acid. J Hazard Mater, 186 (1), 236-9.
  5. Eliaz, I., Hotchkiss, A. T., Fishman, M. L., Rode, D. (2006). The effect of modified citrus pectin on urinary excretion of toxic elements. Phytother Res, 20 (10), 859-64.
  6. Cuervo, A., Salazar, N., Ruas-Madiedo, P., Gueimonde, M., Gonzalez, S. (2013). Fiber from a regular diet is directly associated with fecal short-chain fatty acid concentrations in the elderly. Nutr Res, 33 (10), 811-6.

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