Tag Archive | cellulose

QUESTION : can we digest the cellulose of plant cell walls ?

QUESTION :

Can we digest the cellulose of plant cell walls ?

The correct answer is found in the book ” Sense  and Nonsense in Nutrition ” ( 1986 )  by : Jack YETIV , physician and  scientist ,  author of several medical articles

” Cellulose  contains some bonds that cannot be broken by human intestinal  enzymes , whereas all the bonds in starch and glycogen can be  broken ( digested ) by human enzymes “

He continues  elsewhere :

 ” Dietary fibers are defined as plant cell wall  materials which are indigestible by human gastrointestinal  machinery. Ruminants , like the cow , are able to digest these  materials , and as a result of this , to the cow , a piece of cellulose  is as fattening as a piece of cake would be to us !

The  difference is that we can’t digest cellulose to get the glucose out of it  , while cows can . Although human enzymes cannot digest dietary  fiber ,  some of the bacteria in the human gastrointestinal  tract produce enzymes which can digest fiber and release gases and volatile fatty acids . The fatty acids can be absorbed and  actually used by the human host for energy-requiring processes  (  i.e. they constitute calories )

However , not all types of fiber , can  be metabolized by bacteria in this fashion , and in reality , the number  of calories that can be obtained from fiber in this way is very small  , maybe 20 to 30 calories per day “

All this “nutritional scientific stuff” confirms me that blending your vegs is a very good and time-saving eating habit, … and trying to thrive on non-blended vegs will in the long term , lead to nutritional deficiencies  and underweight

Wrote this on the  Iheartfruit Forum  on August 25 , 2011

Edit November 5 , 2013

Just found this very interesting site , and here is an explanation on cellulose :

http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/consumer/faq/what-is-cellulose.shtml

Cellulose is found in large amounts in nearly all plants, and is potentially a major food source. Unfortunately, human beings lack the enzymes necessary to cleave the linkages between the sugars in cellulose. In fact, crystallite cellulose is added to some foods to reduce the caloric value.