A recent study highlights the role of soluble fiber in the improvement of symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome, as well as the worsening of these by the insoluble fiber.
In that study, patients affected by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) who received a soluble fiber supplement experienced a 90% reduction in the severity of their symptoms, almost doubling the improvement presented in the placebo group.
In this 3-month study, 275 were affected by IBS between 18 and 65 years, which were divided into 3 groups, according to the supplementation they received: supplements soluble fiber (10g of psyllium), insoluble fiber (10g of bran) and placebo (10g of rice flour).
Only 64, 56 and 56 percent respectively of the participants in each group completed the study period. Among these, the severity of symptoms decreased by 90 points in the soluble fiber group, compared with 49 points in the placebo group and 58 points in the bran group. In the saved group, a greater early abandonment of the study was observed, after a worsening of the symptoms of IBS.
Reference: Soluble or insoluble fiber in irritable bowel syndrome in primary care? Randomized placebo controlled trial. British Medical Journal 2009; Volume 339: b3154. C.J. Bijkerk, N.J. de Wit, J.W.M. Muris, P.J. Whorwell, J.A. Knottnerus, A.W. Hoes