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Nanocellulose as a Functional Ingredient in the Management of Metabolic Syndrome: A Review

Department of Nutrition, Universitas Muhammadiyah Semarang, Indonesia

Received: 11 Dec 2020; Published: 2 Dec 2022.

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Alternative treatments in the management of metabolic syndrome are required because multiple drugs for individual components was found to have negative side effects on other components. Functional ingredients, particularly fiber, has shown great benefits in improving metabolic syndrome. Nanocellulose is a novel type of fiber, derived from cellulose through various processes that result in a nanoscale fiber with the dimension below 100 nm. Its smaller size brought improvements to the physicochemical properties of cellulose and consequently its biological activities. Nanocellulose appear to exhibit distinct functional activities that affect various processes in the gastrointestinal tract, including interference in lipid and carbohydrate digestion and reinforcement of gut microflora. These properties may ameliorate abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, and high blood pressure through similar mechanisms of both soluble and insoluble fibers. In this review, we first introduce nanocellulose and its particular characteristics that makes it separate from cellulose. With the limited studies available, we try to go in depth into its activity in the gastrointestinal tract followed by the possible implications of those functional properties on health, especially on the components of metabolic syndrome. Lastly, we discuss the potential applications and advantages of incorporating nanocellulose in functional food for the management of metabolic syndrome.

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Keywords: nanocellulose; fiber; metabolic syndrome; functional food

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