Soluble Fiber Improves Management of Diarrhea in Elderly Patients Receiving Enteral Nutrition


Dietary fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate providing beneficial effects for bowel health. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical effects of fiber supplementation in enteral feeding on elderly patients suffering from diarrhea. This study was conducted in 15 patients (7 men and 8 women, 79.0 ± 7.5 years) who had loose stools or diarrhea during enteral nutrition. The enteral formula was supplemented with soluble dietary fiber (5.2 g/day) for 3 weeks, which was then discontinued for 1 week to confirm its effects. The effects of soluble dietary fiber on stool frequency, the Bristol Stool Form Scale (which is designed to measure stool consistency), plasma diamine oxidase (DAO) activity, and concentrations of plasma short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) were evaluated. After supplementation with soluble dietary fiber, there were no significant differences in stool frequency but there was a significant improvement in stool consistency (P < 0.05). Furthermore, ingestion of soluble dietary fiber resulted in increased plasma DAO activity and significantly increased levels of plasma SCFA (P < 0.05). Supplementation with soluble dietary fiber may be beneficial for improving stool consistency in patients suffering from diarrhea during enteral nutrition. A further controlled trial is warranted to examine the preventive effects of soluble dietary fiber in patients suffering from diarrhea.

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Y. Kato, M. Nakao, M. Iwasa, S. Hasegawa and K. Yamada, "Soluble Fiber Improves Management of Diarrhea in Elderly Patients Receiving Enteral Nutrition," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 11, 2012, pp. 1547-1552. doi: 10.4236/fns.2012.311202.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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