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Fiber Plus Probiotics May Help Gastric Cancer Patients Post-Surgery

Enteral nutrition is nutrition provided through a feeding tube, and can result in side effects including diarrhea, abdominal cramping or bloating, nausea, and vomiting. A recent study suggests that a combination of fiber and probiotics after gastric cancer surgery may help with diarrhea, intestinal movement, and decreased intestinal disorders.


Participants in the study included 120 people who had had surgery for gastric cancer. All of the participants were given enteral nutrition formulas daily for a week after their surgery. One third of the group had a fiber-free formula, the second third had a fiber-enriched formula, and the final third had a fiber and probiotic-enriched formula.


At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted a lower incidence of diarrhea in the fiber-enriched group compared to the fiber-free group. There was no significant difference in diarrhea incidence between the fiber-enriched and the fiber and probiotic-enriched groups. However, the probiotic and fiber group did have fewer intestinal disorders than the other two groups. In addition, the fiber-free group had longer hospital stays than the other two groups.


Researchers from West China Hospital conducted the study. It was published in the October 2017 issue of Medicine.


Fiber consumption has been linked with lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, and regulating blood sugar for people with diabetes.


There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber can be found naturally in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium. Insoluble fiber can be found in whole wheat and grains, brown rice, fruit, broccoli, cabbage and dark leafy vegetables.

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