January 1, 1835
Minnesota Farmers' Institute Annual
The Minnesota Farmers’ Institute’s Annual reported on the differences between Graham and white bread, recommending “the use of some graham bread in families of growing children,” though warning that the bran in the bread could be “irritating to a delicate digestive system.”
Not all attention was negative. In 1834, an advertisement for Graham bread appeared in New-York as 'It Is' , a manual and guide to living in New York City. The guide pointed interested parties to Pierce and Luke, bakers who sold the bread at their bakery located at the intersection of Broadway and Leonard Street. The first published recipe for Graham bread appeared in 1835, emphasizing the use of finely ground, pure wheat meal. In that same year the Minnesota Farmers’ Institute’s Annual reported on the differences between Graham and white bread, recommending “the use of some graham bread in families of growing children,” though warning that the bran in the bread could be “irritating to a delicate digestive system.”
January 1, 1974
Fibre and Irritable Bowels
Dr Trowell points out that Africans do not consume cereals or bran but remain free of complaints of constipation and irritable bowel disease.
Dr Hugh Trowell, another strong advocate of dietary fibre, confirmed this in 1974, saying that 'a serious confusion of thought is produced by referring to the dietary fibre hypothesis as the bran hypothesis, for many Africans do not consume cereal or bran but remain almost free of constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and diverticular disease'.
July 2, 1994
Bran and irritable bowel syndrome: time for reappraisal.
55% of patients were made worse by bran whereas only 10% had found it helpful.
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.
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