Increasing amounts of dietary fiber provided by foods normalizes physiologic response of the large bowel without altering calcium balance or fecal steroid excretion.Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 Sep; 68(3):615-22.AJ
Nine healthy, young men consumed constant diets to determine selected large-bowel, serum cholesterol and triacylglycerol, and calcium balance responses to 3 amounts of fiber provided by a mixture of fruit, vegetables, and grains. The diets, each consumed for 1 mo, contained 16, 30, and 42 g total fiber/d, of which 2.9, 4.8, and 7.7 g, respectively, was soluble. Mean daily wet and dry stool weights increased with each fiber addition. The first fiber addition increased defecation frequency and decreased fecal pH, bile acid concentration, and neutral steroid concentration; the second addition had no further effect. Mean weight of each defecation and stool moisture did not increase and serum cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations, calcium balance, and gastrointestinal transit time did not decrease as fiber intake increased. We conclude that 1) fiber provided by a mixed-food diet increases stool weight as effectively as does wheat or oat bran; 2) even high amounts of dietary fiber do not change transit time or defecation frequency if they are already approximately 1 and 2-3 d, respectively; 3) food patterns consistent with the food pyramid and incorporating legumes and whole grains are necessary to achieve recommended fiber intakes of 20-35 g/d, even if energy intake is > 12.55 MJ (3000 kcal); 4) soluble fiber provided by a mixture of whole foods has no effect on serum cholesterol concentrations or output of fecal bile acids; and 5) mixed-food fiber has little effect on calcium balance when calcium intakes are high (> or = 1.5 g/d).