A comparative study of the effects on colon function caused by feeding ispaghula husk and polydextrose
Article first published online: 31 MAR 2007
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Volume 2, Issue 6, pages 513–519, December 1988
How to Cite
TOMLIN, J. and READ, N. W. (1988), A comparative study of the effects on colon function caused by feeding ispaghula husk and polydextrose. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 2: 513–519. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.1988.tb00725.x
- Issue published online: 31 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 31 MAR 2007
- Accepted for publication 2 September 1988
Polydextrose is a new soluble food ingredient which cannot be digested by intestinal enzymes and so may affect colonic function. Studies in healthy volunteers compared the effects of diet supplementation with 30 g/day polydextrose, a standard dose of 7 g/day ispaghula and two mixtures containing 2 g/day ispaghula with either 30 g/day polydextrose or 10 g/day polydextrose with a control period. During the 10-day periods, the mass, frequency and consistency of faeces were assessed as well as the whole-gut transit time, ease of defaecation, flatulence and palatability of the preparations.
All preparations significantly increased the weekly faecal mass above control values (P < 0.05) but there were no significant differences between the preparations. Transit time and stool frequency were not affected significantly by any of the preparations (P > 0.05). Both preparations supplying 30 g/day polydextrose softened stool consistency equally but the other preparations had no effect. All preparations caused flatulence and other gas-related problems but polydextrose caused more than ispaghula, even at the lowest dose of 10 g/day. More volunteers preferred taking the polydextrose drinks than the sachets of ispaghula which formed a viscous drink with water.
Despite superior palatability and equally effective stool bulking, polydextrose is unlikely to be an alternative laxative to ispaghula because of the unacceptable levels of flatulence.