Bran, Cereal Fiber, Dextrine de Blé, Dietary Fiber, Fibre Alimentaire, Fibre Céréalière, Gehun, Godhoom, Salvado de Trigo, Son, Son de Blé, Triticum aestivum, Triticum Aestrivum, Triticum sativum, Wheat, Wheat Dextrin.
Wheat is a plant. The outer shell of the grain (the bran) is used to make medicine.
Wheat bran is used as a source of dietary fiber for preventing colon diseases (including cancer), stomach cancer, breast cancer, gallbladder disease, hemorrhoids and hiatal hernia. It is also used for treating constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
How does it work?
Wheat bran helps constipation by speeding up the colon and increasing stool output and bowel frequency.
Possibly Effective for...
- Constipation. Taking wheat bran seems to be effective for treating mild constipation and restoring normal bowel function, but it doesn't seem to soften stools.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Taking wheat bran may reduce stomach pain and improve bowel function in people with mild to moderate IBS. However, it may not be as effective as guar gum.
- Lowering blood pressure. Taking wheat bran seems to produce modest, but significant reductions in blood pressure.
- Preventing stomach cancer.
- Preventing hemorrhoids.
Possibly Ineffective for...
- Preventing cancer of the colon (bowels) or rectum. Several large well-designed studies showed that fiber, including wheat-bran fiber, does not prevent the recurrence of pre-cancerous tumors, despite earlier evidence that suggested fiber might help.
- Type 2 diabetes. Taking wheat bran does not seem to consistently improve blood sugar control. Also, it does not improve blood pressure, blood fats, clotting factors, homocysteine, C-reactive protein, or other factors associated with heart disease in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Breast cancer.
- Gallbladder disease.
- Hiatal hernia.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Digoxin (Lanoxin)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Wheat bran is high in fiber. Fiber can decrease the absorption and decrease the effectiveness of digoxin (Lanoxin). As a general rule, any medications taken by mouth should be taken one hour before or four hours after wheat bran to prevent this interaction.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For constipation: 20 to 25 grams of wheat bran per day. It appears that 40 grams per day is no more effective than 20 grams per day.
- For the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): 30 grams of wheat bran per day for up to 12 weeks.
- For high blood pressure: 3-6 grams of whole-wheat flour, wheat flakes, and brown rice, combined with a National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) step 1 diet.
A tolerable upper intake levels (UL) for fiber, the highest intake level at which no unwanted side effects are expected, has not been set.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
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Alberts DS, Martinez ME, Roe DJ, et al. Lack of effect of a high-fiber cereal supplement on the recurrence of colorectal adenomas. Phoenix Colon Cancer Prevention Physicians' Network. N Engl J Med 2000;342:1156-62. View abstract.
Anon. Consensus statement on cereals, fibre and colorectal and breast cancers. Proceedings of the European Cancer Prevention consensus meeting. Santa Margheritia, Italy, 2-5 October 1997. Eur J Cancer Prev 1998;7:S1-83. View abstract.
Anti M, Pignataro G, Armuzzi A, et al. Water supplementation enhances the effect of high-fiber diet on stool frequency and laxative consumption in adult patients with functional constipation. Hepatogastroenterology 1998;45:727-32.. View abstract.
Badiali D, Corazziari E, Habib FI, et al. Effect of wheat bran in treatment of chronic nonorganic constipation. A double-blind controlled trial. Dig Dis Sci 1995;40:349-56.. View abstract.
Chandalia M, Garg A, Lutjohann D, et al. Beneficial effects of high dietary fiber intake in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med 2000;342:1392-8. View abstract.
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Govers MJ, Gannon NJ, Dunshea FR, et al. Wheat bran affects the site of fermentation of resistant starch and luminal indexes related to colon cancer risk: a study in pigs. Gut 1999;45:840-7. View abstract.
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Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Augustin LS, et al. Effect of wheat bran on glycemic control and risk factors for cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2002;25:1522-8.. View abstract.
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