OBJECTIVES: We investigated the clinical usefulness of soluble dietary fiber (SDF) for the treatment of diarrhea during enteral nutrition in elderly patients.METHODS: This study included 10 men and 10 women (mean age ± standard deviation: 79.3 ± 5.1 y) who had diarrhea during long-term nutrition management. When administering SDF, the initial dose was 7 g and thereafter gradually increased at 1-wk intervals. After 4 wk, the administration was discontinued for 2 wk to confirm the effects of SDF.RESULTS: After the administration of SDF, serum diamine oxidase activity significantly increased (P < 0.001): The water content of the feces decreased significantly after the administration of fiber (P < 0.01). The frequency of daily bowel movements also decreased significantly (P < 0.05). Simultaneously, the fecal features improved. Concerning intestinal flora, there were no significant changes in the total number of bacteria or the number of anaerobic bacteria. The fecal pH decreased significantly 4 wk after the administration of fiber (P < 0.05). The total level of short-chain fatty acids increased significantly 4 wk after the administration of fiber (P < 0.05). There were no significant changes in the various nutritional indices. CONCLUSIONS: The administration of SDF is useful for controlling spontaneous, favorable bowel movement by improving symptoms of small intestinal mucosal atrophy and normalizing the intestinal flora.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics