Dextrin is a natural fiber with a lot to offer. It can support your body’s ability to remove wastes. Fiber may also support satiation and healthy weight loss. Dextrin also has the ability to lower the glycemic load of a high-carbohydrate meal. Because it’s a water-soluble carbohydrate, it can act as a natural binding agent and that’s what we use it for in our Detox Foot Pads. Without a natural binder, the ingredients would disperse and deprive you of the product’s benefits. Let’s take a closer look at dextrin…
What is Dextrin?
Derived from dextrose (glucose), dextrin is a low-molecular-weight carbohydrate produced from the hydrolysis of starches. Hydrolysis, as the prefix suggests, involves water splitting into its basic molecular components and attaching to other molecules. While several types of dextrin exist, each have a similar formula and action in the body. Dextrin is used in many glue products due to its adhesive qualities and safety. The indigestible form of dextrin is often used as a fiber supplement. This is what’s contained in my Detox Foot Pads.
The Health Benefits of Dextrin
Most any dietary fiber offers numerous health benefits, including weight loss and toxin cleansing. Dextrin has been linked to support for heart health, blood sugar, and overall health. Here are 8 of the top benefits of dextrin.
1. Promotes Healthy Intestinal Flora
Dextrin is considered a prebiotic, compounds that feed probiotics or “good” bacteria.  It has been shown to reduce lactobacilli, a powerful beneficial bacteria which is responsible for supporting digestion.  As the good bacteria continues to proliferate throughout the digestive system, a balanced ratio of good to bad bacteria is established.
2. Supports Healthy Cholesterol Levels
Dietary fiber has been shown to reduce “bad” cholesterol (LDL) levels to support cardiovascular health.  As a dietary fiber, dextrin is no exception and has been shown to reduce triglyceride levels.  Triglycerides are fats in the blood that have the ability to increase heart disease and stroke risk. Although it may lower LDL levels, dextrin may help maintain HDL levels, or the “good” cholesterol.
3. Relieves Occasional Constipation
In general, fiber provides bulk in the intestines and allows for the elimination of wastes out of the body via increased bowel movement frequency.  Fiber, including dextrin, needs to be consumed with plenty of water for effectiveness. Without hydration, fiber can’t move and can actually compound constipation. Dietary fiber supplements often contain dextrin as one of the fiber sources because it’s so effective.
The cleansing effects of dextrin are tied to its ability to increase the frequency of bowel movements. Many toxins are stored in human wastes, yet a number of individuals have difficulty eliminating these wastes on a regular basis. Indigestible fiber also attaches itself to a variety of toxins in the body, like PCBs, and aids in their excretion.  Their ability to provide growth to beneficial bacteria in the digestive system also aids cleansing, as probiotics are an essential component of reducing toxic bacteria that contribute to common health conditions.
5. Supports Healthy Blood Sugar
Fiber has a long-standing reputation for supporting healthy blood sugar levels, both in healthy individuals and type II diabetics. Dextrin, along with all dietary fibers, may aid in reducing the glycemic load of a meal containing carbohydrates. These fibers must be taken before or during the meal to have a noticeable effect. Although fiber is a carbohydrate, it is not digested and does not raise blood sugar or insulin. Water-soluble fiber, like dextrin, displays the most beneficial effect on glucose levels. 
6. Supports Heart Health
The cholesterol- and triglyceride-lowering effects of dextrin make it an excellent dietary addition for supporting heart health.  The compound may provide support for the heart and blood vessels, an action that may lower the risk for heart disease. These are the main factors in which dextrin supports heart health, yet many researchers speculate whether or not fiber offers further benefits to the cardiovascular system. Future studies may provide more evidence in support of dextrin and the promotion of heart health.
7. Provides Satiation and Healthy Weight Loss
Dextrin may help provide satiation, helping the body feel full and satisfied. In all its forms, fiber creates more bulk in the stomach and breaks down very slowly. This feeling of fullness can be very helpful for people who are wishing to lose weight. Individuals wishing to reduce their between meal snacking may want to incorporate more fiber-rich foods in their diet. Promoting a natural feeling of satiation may be helpful for providing sustained, natural weight loss. Dextrin may help reduce the size of fat cells, possibly aiding in fighting obesity. More research is needed in relation to fiber and obesity to determine if the indigestible carbohydrate can indeed combat this growing issue.
8. Supports Colon Health
Research has shown that individuals who consume higher levels of water-soluble fiber have a decreased risk for colorectal cancer compared with those who consume a low-carbohydrate diet.  There are a few theories behind this benefit, none of which have been fully proven. One theory is that, because of its effectiveness for facilitating waste removal from the body, it may reduce an interior toxic environment that is conducive for cancer. Another theory refers to its ability to feed good bacteria in the intestines, which may play a role in protecting the colon. It could also be that people who eat a high-fiber diet are also eating a diet rich in plant foods, all of which contain varying levels of antioxidants that may support colon health.
As mentioned above, dextrin is used in our Detox Foot Pads because it binds the active ingredients together. Its ability to bind with toxins facilitates their expulsion from the body, making it an important addition to the product. In addition to the other ingredients, dextrin may support the body’s natural detoxification abilities and aid in supporting overall health.
What’s your experience with dextrin? Leave a comment below!
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
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