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Supplements high in soluble fiber should be considered as the first line in treating irritable bowel syndrome, a new study finds.

The exact cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), characterized by abdominal pain and irregular bowel habits, remains unknown. Dietary adjustments along with certain drugs such as antidepressants, however, are frequently prescribed to treat sufferers.

Previous studies had urged IBS patients to fallow a diet rich in bran to improve the function of the intestines; the Dutch study, however, warns that the compound may worsen the symptoms of the condition.

According to the study published in the British Medical Journal, psyllium -- also known as isphagula, a soluble vegetable fiber found in apples and strawberries as well as barley and oat -- is the most effective treatment for IBS patients.

Patients were reported to tolerate psyllium better than bran -- the hard outer layer of grains considered as an insoluble fiber, mostly because their symptoms worsened after using the latter compound.

Compared with patients with diarrhea-predominant or mixed-type IBS, those with constipation-predominant IBS, however, were only slightly more likely to report relief following the use of psyllium.

"I think adding psyllium to the diet is the best treatment option to start with. In the study, people did this by adding it to things such as yoghurt and it had a real effect," concluded lead researcher Niek de Wit.

 

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"Imam Sadiq(a.s) said: "My most beloved brother is he who ( makes me aware of ) my faults."

Bihar Al Anvar, Vol.74, pgl282