The Science of Kfibre
What is Kfibre?
Kfibre is a whole of plant insoluble and soluble prebiotic fibre from sugarcane for gut health management and microbiome support, also containing active phytonutrients and antioxidants. Kfibre has undergone over 10 years of scientific development, multiple University studies, patents, and clinical trials. Kfibre is FDA accredited, and approved as a food-health link by Food Standards Australia New Zealand for the maintenance of intestinal & digestive health.
Mode of Action and Effects
Current knowledge on the mode of action & effects of the functional fibre and prebiotic complex from sugarcane is presented to explain the mechanism behind the benefits.
As is becoming more widely discussed, the microbiome is made up of trillions of microorganisms and the genetic material that lives in the intestinal tract. These bacteria play a key role in the digestion of food, absorption of nutrients, communication of the gut-brain axis, and significant systemic health benefits. The factors below contribute to the health functionality of the microbiome and offer explanation for the efficacy of Kfibre consumption in producing health effects.
Prebiotics are essentially food for gastrointestinal microorganisms resulting in growth of specific microbial types. This largely takes place at the distal end of the small intestine and in the large intestine.
It involves both direct microorganism growth and the production of degradation and fermentation products, which can serve for the growth of other microorganisms resulting in diverse and balanced microbial communities.
The plant cell-based fibre complex of Kfibre has a multitude of different cell wall bound glycans related to the cell wall complex of many plant materials. KFSU has a scientific study to determine the fermentability and prebiotic capability of Kfibre, with clear indications that it provides both an effective feed source for the support of and proliferation of advantageous bacteria with by product synthesis of nutrients such as Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA’s).
SCFA’s are primarily produced via fermentation by anaerobic bacteria in the lumen of the gut. A fermentation study demonstrates that Kfibre digestion by these bacteria results in marked increases in SCFA’s (butyric acid, propionic acid, etc.).
The complex nature of the cell wall bound glycans results in a uniform rate of fermentation and release of SCFA’s over a long-time during transit in the gastrointestinal tract in the same manner as other fruit or vegetable cell wall material after digestion by enzymes in the small intestine that remove accessible forms of starch and related carbohydrates (note: Kfibre provides no available carbohydrates). How this impacts health is explained below.
There is evidence to suggest that butyric acid is the preferred energy source of colonic epithelial cells. As a prebiotic Kfibre will support microbial synthesis of butyric acid resulting in improvements to cellular function in the gut.
It has been demonstrated that intracolonic infusion of butyric acid stimulates colonic mucosal growth. SCFA mixtures delivered to the colon have resulted in significant elevations in mucosal weight, protein, and importantly an increase in the colon wall size.
A mouse trial on Kfibre has demonstrated this epithelial tissue ‘wall’ thickening effect, which will result in healthier tissue function and nutrient absorption.
High amounts of SCFA’s positively affect the gut microbiota by lowering the pH. The production of SCFA’s is part of a feedback loop from the composition of the microbiota and allows steering of the host digestive health.
Ghrelin is a gut hormone that increases appetite, and also plays a role in body weight. A study on sugarcane fibre and its effect on hunger hormones recorded a reduction in the signalling hormone that results in a feeling of hunger through this metabolic pathway. Further study in humans is in planning and pending research funding.
Prioritizing or claiming superiority of one form of fibre extract over the other can be a function of marketing and not ideal nutrition. Ensuring the supply of complex fibre types so that the bodies digestive juices, enzymes and various species of microbiota can all function effectively, is a preferable approach. This reflects how fruit and vegetable consumption contributes to health through the maintenance of a complex microbiome that aids health outcomes.
Kfibre provides the same complexity of prebiotic fibres (without available sugars) to support the balance of fibre digesting bacteria that thrive on soluble fibre and those that can partially break down insoluble fibre as a fermentation feed source to synthesize critical micronutrients such as SCFA’s.
The remaining insoluble fiber maintains an important function for feedback signalling from the fore-gut to the hind-gut and beneficial stimulatory links to the vagus nerve as part of the gut-brain axis.