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July 2, 1994

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55% of patients were made worse by bran whereas only 10% had found it helpful.





Bran and irritable bowel syndrome: time for reappraisal.


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Whilst following up large numbers of patients with irritable bowel syndrome we got the impression that wholemeal wheat and bran products made people with the condition worse rather than better. One hundred consecutive new referrals, all of whom had tried bran, were questioned to resolve this issue. 55% of patients were made worse by bran whereas only 10% had found it helpful. With the exception of fruit, other forms of dietary fibre were not as detrimental and proprietary supplements were found to be beneficial. All symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome were exacerbated by bran, with bowel disturbance most often adversely affected, followed by abdominal distension and pain. The results of this study suggest that the use of bran in irritable bowel syndrome should be reconsidered. The study also raises the possibility that excessive consumption of bran in the community may actually be creating patients with irritable bowel syndrome by exacerbating mild, non-complaining cases.

Bran supplementation in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. - 1994 Oct 5



Irritable bowel syndrome remains the commonest reason for referral to a gastroenterology clinic. Patients with irritable bowel syndrome are frequently advised to increase their intake of bran fibre, despite inconclusive experimental evidence of benefit.


The effect of dietary supplementation with a bolus of bran fibre (12 g/day) was studied in a block-randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study of 80 patients with irritable bowel syndrome referred to a District General Hospital outpatient clinic. Comparison of the benefits of bran and placebo was based upon personal assessment of individual and overall symptom profiles, determined from a simple daily symptom score and post-treatment interview.


Overall symptomatic improvement was reported with bran by 52% and with placebo by 54% of patients. Bran supplementation was no more effective than placebo in improving individual symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and for wind-related symptoms it was significantly less effective (P < 0.001).


Dietary supplementation with bran is of no value in the treatment of patients with irritable bowel syndrome referred to a hospital clinic.

Topics: (click image to open)

Crohn's Disease
Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that primarily affects the gastrointestinal tract. It can cause inflammation and damage to any part of the digestive system, from the mouth to the anus. Crohn's disease is characterized by periods of active symptoms, known as flare-ups, followed by periods of remission where symptoms are reduced or absent. Anecdotes suggest a carnivore diet greatly helps in curing or reducing symptoms, suggesting the eitology involves plant consumption.
BS stands for irritable bowel syndrome, which is a common disorder that affects the large intestine (colon). It is a chronic condition characterized by a group of symptoms, including abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating, gas, and changes in bowel habits such as diarrhea or constipation, or both. The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but it is believed to involve a combination of factors, including abnormal gastrointestinal motility, heightened sensitivity to certain stimuli, changes in the gut microbiota, and possible genetic and environmental factors. It is considered a functional gastrointestinal disorder, which means there are no structural abnormalities or specific laboratory tests that can definitively diagnose it.
Digestion is the process by which the body breaks down food into smaller components that can be absorbed and utilized for energy, growth, and repair. It involves both mechanical and chemical processes that occur in various organs of the digestive system.
Fiber, also known as dietary fiber or roughage, refers to the indigestible portion of plant foods. It is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be broken down by human digestive enzymes. Instead, it passes through the digestive system relatively intact, adding bulk to the stool and aiding in the regularity of bowel movements. It isn't technically classified as an essential nutrient. The term "essential" in nutrition refers to nutrients that the body cannot produce on its own (or cannot produce in sufficient quantities) and therefore must obtain from the diet
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