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  • Created by: Stephen
  • Created on: 02-05-13 20:38

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NSP- Non Starch Polysaccharides
NSP comes from cell walls which form the structural support of the plant from which the
food is originated.
Cell walls of plant cells consist of a rigid scaffolding of cellulose molecules embedded in a
NSP differ from starch because:
-They are not broken down by the enzymes of the small intestine
-They enter the large intestine (or bowel) unchanged
Cereal grains (and foods made with them) *especially wholegrain*
NSP in (­wheat ­maize ­rice) is mainly composed of cellulose and hence is largely
NSP in (-oats ­barley ­rye ­fruit and ­vegetables) is soluble
Vegetables contain more water than cereal's and hence NSP content is lower
Dietary fibre contributes 2kcal (8.4kj) per gram
Soluble fibre:
-Soluble NSP slows down the release of glucose to the blood stream and can minimise
symptoms of diabetes.
- Help to lower total and LDL cholesterol (reduce CHD)
-Can replace a high calorie die = lower fat diet = less chance of obesity
-Can stop us from feeling hungry
Insoluble fibre
-Insoluble fibre acts by binding water in the intestines. This increases the bulk of the
material passing through the large intestine and stimulates movements of the intestinal
wall (peristalsis) thus giving bulk to the faeces and aiding voiding of faeces.
-Diets high in insoluble NSP can help prevent constipation and various bowel disorders
(such as bowel cancer and diverticular disease)
-Can replace a high calorie die = lower fat diet = less chance of obesity
-Can stop us from feeling hungry
In addition to this the presence of NSP in the mouth can promote dental health, wither
through physical effects e.g. increased flow of saliva or a general low sugar content of
NSP foods.
Disadvantages of diet high in NSP:
NSP can contain PHYTATES (found in bran) which reduce the absorption of
minerals such as zinc and iron

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Flatulence and increased bowel movement may be caused
May fill toddlers easily= a less balanced diet
Faces are formed in the large intestine after the nutrients and some water has been
absorbed following digestion. The solid residues pass along the intestine by the process of
peristalsis which involves regular muscle contractions of the intestinal wall.
These peristalsis movements push along the faces which collect in the rectum and are
passed out through the anus.…read more

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Some of the following disease and disorders associated with a lack of fibre are shown
Where the faeces become very hard and pass more slowly through the intestine. A lot of
effort is needed to remove them.
-Diverticular disease
Due to the extra strain of the muscular walls. This may develop if the faeces are small
and hard and the muscular walls of the intestine have to work harder to move them
along.…read more


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