The total intake of energy and nutrients was recorded during 5 consecutive d in ten constipated patients in a geriatric ward. Twenty grams of ordinary or low-phytate wheat bran was then added to their diet and the 5-d food intake was recorded after 6 and 12 weeks, respectively. The intake was generally satisfactory and decreased in only two women on bran treatment. The hospital diet had a high mineral content and calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron levels in serum did not decrease when wheat bran was added to the diet. Consequently no difference was found in serum mineral levels, when ordinary wheat bran was replaced by a low-phytate bran.