Fiber

The discovery that an increased amount of crude fiber in the daily diet lowers intestinal pressure and rapidly reduces transit time is also a major step forward. Transit time is the duration it takes food to pass from one end of the bowel system to the other. The shorter the transit time, the less risk there is of bowel toxins coming into contact with the intestinal walls and causing adverse reactions.

The simple expedient of adding two tablespoonfuls (12 – 14 grams) of unprocessed bran to the meal three times a day can achieve a most desirable result. This should be continued for a minimum of two weeks, or until a bowel action is obtained without any straining. Some patients will require more, and up to several tablespoonfuls a day may be the requisite desirable amount. But the goal is a soft bowel action that can be passed without effort.

The effects of all this are far-reaching. Although many claims have been made by those investigating the use and value of unprocessed bran, at least some (and probably most) are feasible.

Reduced transit time helps reduce constipation. It will also help to normalize nonpathological diarrhea. Due to normal soft actions, and reduced pressure, there is a reduced risk of hemorrhoids (piles) developing. Also, painful fissures (common in those constipated) are less likely to occur and if present, will tend to heal more rapidly.

The consequence of this is that varicose veins in the lower limbs are less likely to take place.

By reducing pressure in the bowel, the outcrops, or pockets in the bowel wall (caused by pressure), termed diverticulosis, will occur much less often, and indeed it may prevent this from developing. In turn, infection of these pockets (called diverticulitis) is less likely. It may also prevent germs being pushed into the appendix, and may help prevent acute appendicitis.