Health Questions and Answers

Question: Does fiber help reduce diarrhea in enteral feedings?


Yes. Fiber-free formulas can contribute to gut mucosal atrophy, especially in the distal portion of the small bowel, and in the colon. Atrophy can lead to diarrhea, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and lack of nutrient absorption. There are many other causes of diarrhea, including antibiotics or other medications, Clostridium difficile, food intolerance, or simple interference with the normal gut flora. But fiber is important. Most fiber-containing formulas on the market use soy polysaccharides because they help to prevent clogging and they are not affected by heat processing. Fiber-enriched infant and enteral formulas (soy-polysaccharides) have also been effective in the treatment of diarrhea and can assist in achieving normal laxation in children on long-term enteral nutrition.

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