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Published, March 21st 2006

Guideline for dietary fiber intake

This advisory report poses two central questions: What should be the new Netherlands guideline for dietary fibre intake? And on what reasoning is this guideline based?  Dietary fibre is the collective term for a group of substances that are not digested or absorbed in the human small intestine and which have the chemical character of carbohydrates, compounds analogous to carbohydrates, lignin, or substances related to lignin. Various substances comply with this definition. The effects of specific types of dietary fibre on the human body may be similar, but may also differ completely from one another. In general, specific types of dietary fibre have one or more of the following physiological effects: they accelerate the transit of food through the gastrointestinal tract; they increase the amount of stool; they favourably affect fermentation in the colon; they reduce blood LDL cholesterol levels; they help improve blood glucose and blood insulin levels.


  • Professor G Schaafsma, nutritionist; TNO Nutrition and Food Research, Zeist
  • Dr RA Bausch-Goldbohm, nutritionist, epidemiologist; TNO Nutrition and Food Research, Zeist
  • B Breedveld, nutritionist; Netherlands Nutrition Centre, The Hague
  • Dr EJM Feskens, nutritionist, epidemiologist; Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR), Wageningen
  • Dr E Kampman, nutritionist; epidemiologist, WUR, Wageningen
  • Professor L Mathus-Vliegen, gastroenterologist; Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam
  • Dr F Nagengast, gastroenterologist; St Radboud University Medical Centre (UMC), Nijmegen
  • Professor AGS Voragen, food technologist; WUR, Wageningen
  • B van der Heide, Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, The Hague, adviser
  • Dr LTJ Pijls, Health Council of the Netherlands, The Hague, secretary (until 1 January 2004)
  • Dr CJK Spaaij, Health Council of the Netherlands, The Hague, secretary (from 1 January 2004)

This publication may be cited as follows

Health Council of the Netherlands. Guideline for dietary fibre intake. The Hague: Health Council of the Netherlands, 2006; publication no. 2006/03E. ISBN 90-5549-604-9 ISBN 90-5549-604-9