What is the differences between soluble fibre & insoluble fibre?


In recent years, growing focus among consumers have shifted towards consumption of healthy, low-calorie, and nutritionally balanced foods containing dietary fibres. Dietary fibres are been categorized into 2 primary classes known as soluble fibre and insoluble fibre (Perry & Ying, 2016).

Soluble Fibre
Insoluble Fibre
  • Oligosaccharides, including fructooligosaccharide (FOS), inulin, pectins, β-glucans (oat and barley grains), galactomannan gums, alginate, and psyllium (Perry & Ying, 2016)
  • Cellulose and some hemicelluloses, resistant starch, and lignin (Perry & Ying, 2016)
  • Carrots, broccoli, onion, and artichokes, and fruits including bananas, berries, apples, and pears, as well as legumes, oats, and barley (Soliman, 2019)
Main sources
  • Whole grain, wheat, bran, nuts, and seeds, as well as in some fruits and vegetables (Soliman, 2019)
  • Water-soluble (Dhingra et al., 2012)
  • Water-insoluble (Dhingra et al., 2012)
  • Viscous (Weickert & Pfeiffer, 2018) & gel-forming (Dong et al., 2018)
  • Non-viscous & non gel-forming (Weickert & Pfeiffer, 2018)
  • Partially or totally fermented by colonic bacteria & produces short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) (Soliman, 2019)
  • Less fermented fibres, passes through the digestive tract intact (Dhingra et al., 2012)
  • No relevant effects on SCFA (Weickert & Pfeiffer, 2018)
  • Reduces postprandial glucose response (glycemic index) (Perry & Ying, 2016)
  • Lowers total and LDL cholesterol (Weickert & Pfeiffer, 2018)
  • Increases food transit time, delays gastric emptying (Weickert & Pfeiffer, 2018)
  • Improves the quality of gut microbiome (Dong et al., 2018)
Major physiological effects
  • Shorten bowel transit time (Soliman, 2019)
  • Improves laxation due to its bulking capacity (Li & Komarek, 2017)



Dhingra, D., Michael, M., Rajput, H., & Patil, R. T. (2012). Dietary fibre in foods: a review. Journal Of Food Science And Technology, 49(3), 255-266.

Dong, Y., Chen, L., Gutin, B., & Zhu, H. (2018). Total, insoluble, and soluble dietary fibre intake and insulin resistance and blood pressure in adolescents. European Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, 73(8), 1172-1178.

Li, Y. O., & Komarek, A. R. (2017). Dietary fibre basics: Health, nutrition, analysis, and applications. Food Quality And Safety, 1(1), 47-59.

Perry, J. R., & Ying, W. (2016). A Review of Physiological Effects of Soluble and Insoluble Dietary Fibres. Journal Of Nutrition & Food Sciences, 06(02).

Soliman, G. A. (2019). Dietary Fibre, Atherosclerosis, and Cardiovascular Disease. Nutrients, 11(5), 1155.

Weickert, M. O., & Pfeiffer, A. F. H (2018). Impact of Dietary Fibre Consumption on Insulin Resistance and the Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes. The Journal Of Nutrition, 148(1), 7-12.

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