Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Effect of wheat bran on fecal nutrients and bowel function in humans

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  • The effect of cooked wheat bran on the excretion of fecal nutrients, fecal weight, and transit time was investigated in 10 men, aged 20 to 35 years. The study was divided into three 18-day periods. The subjects were divided into two groups; one received the basal diet supplemented with 15 g of AACC Certified Food Grade Wheat Bran (B) during the first period, no bran (NB) in the second, and B in the third. The other group received NB, B and NB in that order. The basal diet supplied 6.6 g neutral detergent fiber (NDF). The subjects' fat intake was constant. All feces were collected; values for each subject were obtained from the second and third 6-day fecal composites of each period. Bran induced significantly higher (p<0.0l) fecal loss of energy, nitrogen and ash. In response to B and NB diets, respectively, mean fecal caloric output was 211±27 and 179±27 kcal/day; mean fecal nitrogen was 2.1±0.3 and 1.9±0.3 g/day; fecal ash was 5.0±0.5 and 4.3±0.5 g/day. Although the mean daily fat excretion was higher on B (5.4±1.7 g) than on NB (4.5±1.3 g), the difference was not statistically significant. Bran caused a consistent increase in fat loss only in one group of subjects. Fecal NDF (determined in the last 6-day composite of each period) was higher (p<0.05) on B (8.3±2.2g/ day) than on NB (5.1±2.6 g/day). Fecal wet weight and dry solids, respectively, were higher (p<0.05 and p<0.01) when the subjects received B (172±39 and 43±3 g/day) than when they received NB (143±34 and 36±4). Percentage moisture content of the feces was not altered by bran supplementation. Mean transit time in hours was shorter on B (28.5±4.8) than NB (32.3±8.4); the difference, however, was not statistically significant. Results suggested that cooked wheat bran may cause increase in nutrient loss in feces. The increment, however, may not be important nutritionally.
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