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
October 9, 1857
EXPERIMENTS IN FEEDING ON OATMEAL CONTINUOUSLY, AS AN EXCLUSIVE DIET.
After thirty days of an exclusive oatmeal diet among 4 subjects, Dr Salisbury ends the experiment saying "Concluded it was neither prudent or safe to carry the experiment any further" as they had awful digestive illnesses and uncomfortable sleep. A return to beef steak cleared up the problems.
In October, 1857, I placed four hearty, well men upon oatmeal porridge as an exclusive diet. It was seasoned with butter, pepper and salt. Cold water was drank between meals, and a pint of coffee, seasoned with sugar and milk, was taken at each meal. The men were the most healthy and vigorous I could procure. All regarded themselves as perfectly well, and none had ever suffered any severe illness. Their ages ranged from twenty-three to thirty-eight years. I required them all to live with me continually, night and day, and to take no food or drinks other than what I gave them. They were to receive $30 per month each, with board and lodging. I subjected myself to the same rules and regulations, asking of them nothing but what I would and did do myself. This gave them a confidence and pride in the work, each striving to outdo the other in the strict observance of the rules.
At noon on the 9th of October, the rigid diet began. The noon and night meals of the first day were greatly enjoyed by all. Retired at 9 p. m. and slept soundly and well. All were called up at 6 a. m. next morning. Meals were taken at 7 a.m., 12 m. and 6 p. m. On the afternoon of the second day, all began to be more or less flatulent. Bowels bloated, and wind in motion in the large bowels. Each had a constipated movement of the bowels during the middle and latter part of the day, accompanied by much wind. Before the exclusive oatmeal diet began, each had one regular movement of the bowels every morning.
At 4 p. m. gave the men a walk of about two miles, which helped to work off the flatulence. All retired at 9 p. m. and slept soundly.
At 6 a. m. of the third day, all were called and required to take a cold sponge bath. Before the bath, a dull, heavy feeling pervaded the entire party ; this was partially relieved by the bath. Very flatvdent ; bowels more or less distended and uncomfortable. Ate quite heartily at the 7 a. m. breakfast, each drinking the pint of coffee allowed.
At 8 a. m. walked the men out for about two miles. This somewhat cleared away the dullness, and worked off the flatus. There was a general feeling of thirst during the forenoon, which was satisfied by a free indulgence in cold water.
Dined at 12 m. At 2 p. m. all were feeling quite bloated and very uncomfortable. Gave them a two mile walk, which to some extent relieved the distended, duU feelings. Not one had a passage of the bowels on the third day. Appetites still good, but not ravenous, as on the first day. Retired at 9 p. m. A stupid, heavy feeling pervaded the household. Very flatulent, with colic pains.
The fourth day, all rather dull and quite flatulent, with occasional colic pains. All had movements of the bowels in the latter part of the day, accompanied by much wind. Appetites good.
The fifth day found all about the same as on the fourth day, except that the symptoms were aggravated. Each had a small, constipated movement in latter part of the day and evening.
The sixth day, all the derangements of the fifth day were more pronounced. Each had a small, difficult movement during the latter part of the day and evening. Very flatulent.
The seventh day, the derangements of the sixth day were stdl more marked. Flatulence and constipation increasing. Each had a very small, hard movement during the latter part of the day and evening.
I will indicate the boarders by the letters A, B, C and D. They exercised daily. Morning and evening walk of two mHes. Rising hour, 6 a. m. Retiring hour, 9 p. m. The following table will show their symptoms under the diet named, from the 8th to the 34th day, inclusive : —
January 1, 1869
A treatise on the function of digestion; its disorders, and their treatment
Pavy suggests that vegetables cause flatulence in 1869.
The object to be attained in the treatment of flatulence is the improvement of the digestive energy and the muscular tone of the stomach. Digestive solution without spontaneous decomposition is what is wanted, and the muscular power should be such as to be capable of expelling by eructation whatever gas may chance to be produced, instead of allowing it to accumulate. The food should be easy of digestion, and taken at regular intervals. Vegetable articles, from their difficulty of digestion, are not unlikely to occasion flatulence with a weakened stomach.
January 1, 1932
New health for everyman.
Arbuthnot thinks roughage should be added to the diet to reduce intestinal diseases.
In 1932, a ‘New Health’ movement was promoted in which people were urged to include plenty of roughage in their diets and it was hoped then that the prompt passing of stools after each substantial meal would reduce the incidence of intestinal diseases.
In the 1930s Arbuthnot Lanel promoted a "New Health" movement in which he urged, inter alia, that plenty of roughage should be included in the diet. Efficient defaecation and the passage of stools promptly after every substantial meal carried the hope that the incidence of intestinal disease would thereby be reduced. Thirty years later Burkitt suggested that the freedom of Africans from intestinal cancer might be related to their subsistence on coarse cereal foods, which promoted the frequent excretion of copious, loose stools.
January 17, 1933
Ten Lessons on Meat - For Use in Schools
Although the book doesn't implicate meat in causing disease "in many cases meat has a place in the treatment of the very diseases which it was once said to cause.", it does introduce an error whereby indigestible cellulose needs to be eaten in order to enhance bulk of the stool. "Meat, since it is so completely digested, furnishes very little of the bulk necessary to regulate body functions."
Meat in Bright's disease.
The present diet in Bright's disease is in striking contrast to the theory of diet formerly held. An abundance of protein is the rule in the new diet. Dr. McLester says: "It was the custom to think only in terms of protein catabolism and of the harmful effects of its end-products, and consequently the patient was told to eat no meat. Now attention is directed to the anabolic influences of protein, its upbuilding effects and beneficial influence on repair processes, and the patient is told to take liberal amounts of this essential foodstuff." s
Meat does not cause disease.
In the past many erroneous beliefs were held regarding meat as a contributing cause to disease. Meat has been blamed for a long list of diseases such as kidney trouble, rheumatism, high blood pressure, cancer, hardening of the arteries, gout, etc. In the light of the newer knowledge of foods and diet through careful scientific investigation, these old theories not only have been discarded, but in many cases meat has a place in the treatment of the very diseases which it was once said to cause.
Meat lacks bulk.
Meat, since it is so completely digested, furnishes very little of the bulk necessary to regulate body functions. If the entire diet were made up of food lacking in bulk, there would be difficulty in eliminating waste products from the body. It is essential, therefore, to eat plenty of leafy vegetables and fruit with their frame-work of indigestible cellulose as well as for the nutrients that make these foods valuable.
January 1, 1963
Some geographical variations in disease pattern in East and Central Africa.
Burkitt attributes low cancer rate to high fiber diet.
Thirty years later Dr Dennis Burkitt, while working as a doctor in Africa, discovered that there was a much lower incidence of cancer of the colon among rural black Africans than among Europeans and Americans. He attributed this low incidence to their relatively crude diet. The theory was that fibre hastened the passage of the bowel contents thus allowing less time for cancer-inducing agents to form. This, of course, presupposed that food became carcinogenic in the gut and there was no evidence that it did. Neither was there any evidence that moving food through the intestine at a faster rate decreased the risk of cancer.