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.
- Breast cancer.
- Gallbladder disease.
- Hiatal hernia.
- Other conditions.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Digoxin (Lanoxin) interacts with WHEAT BRAN
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.