Dietary fiber is a term that reflects a heterogeneous group of natural food sources, processed grains, and commercial supplements. Several forms of dietary fiber have been used as complementary or alternative agents in the management of manifestations of the metabolic syndrome, including obesity. Not surprisingly, there is a great variation in the biological efficacy of dietary fiber in the metabolic syndrome and body weight control. Diverse factors and mechanisms have been reported as mediators of the effects of dietary fiber on the metabolic syndrome and obesity. Among this array of mechanisms, the modulation of gastric sensorimotor influences appears to be crucial for the effects of dietary fiber but also quite variable. This report focuses on the role, mechanism of action, and benefits of different forms of fiber and supplements on obesity and the metabolic syndrome, glycemia, dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular risk and explores the effects of dietary fiber on gastric sensorimotor function and satiety in mediating these actions of dietary fiber.
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