Comparison of two tube feeding formulas enriched with guar gum or mixed dietary fibres - English translation

NJ Wierdsma, HM Kruizenga, A Droop, W Arjaans, A Stok, M van Bokhorst-de van der Schueren

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Goal of the experiment. To determine whether two commercially available, dietary fibre enriched tube feeding formulas will have different effects on the defecation pattern--frequency and consistency of faecal output--of patients with head or neck tumours. Methods. 78 patients with a tumour in the head-neck region were exclusively tube fed for at least 10 days postoperatively. One half received a tube feed enriched with guar gum fibre and the other half received a tube feed enriched with a fibre mix. During the first 10 days postoperatively data on the defecation pattern (the frequency and the consistency of the faeces) was collected. Results. The incidence of moderate diarrhoea was higher with the use of the guar gum enriched tube feed compared to the tube feed enriched with a mixture of fibres (35% vs. 10.5%). The incidence of severe diarrhoea did not differ significantly between groups (7.5% vs. 2.6%). The average consistency of the faeces in the guar gum group was less well formed than in the mixed dietary fibre group (mean 2.6+-SD0.8 versus mean 3.1+-SD0.8) on a scale of 0 (severe constipation) to >15 (severe diarrhoea). The frequency of defecation was higher in patients receiving the tube feed with guar gum than in patients receiving the tube feed with a fibre mix (mean 9.4+-4.4 vs. 11.6+-4.55 over a ten day period). Discussion. These results demonstrate that the addition of different dietary fibres to tube feeds can have differing effects on the consistency and the frequency of the faeces. The tube feed with a mixture of dietary fibres appeared to have a more positive influence on normalising the function of the intestines than the feed with added guar gum. Because the level of total fibre differed between the two tube-feed formulas (22 g/L guar gum and 15 g/L mixed fibre), it is impossible to draw conclusions about the effect of the type of fibre per se.
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)243-247
Number of pages5
JournalNederlands Tijdschrift voor Dietisten
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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