The clinical uses of dietary fiber.Am Fam Physician. 1995 Feb 01; 51(2):419-26.AF
Dietary fiber has received considerable attention in both the popular press and the scientific literature. Fiber is a complex mixture of substances, and research on its effects is difficult to interpret. Dietary fiber has significant gastrointestinal effects, and it is a mainstay of treatment for constipation and hemorrhoids. Insoluble fiber, such as wheat bran, is most effective for treatment of these conditions. Increased intake of soluble dietary fiber appears to benefit patients with diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidemia. High-fiber, low-fat diets have been recommended by a variety of authorities to decrease the incidence of heart disease and certain types of cancer. Any increase in dietary fiber intake should be accompanied by an increase in water intake.