WHEAT BRAN

OTHER NAME(S):

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.

Overview

Overview Information

Wheat is a plant. The outer shell of the grain (the bran) is used to make medicine.

Wheat bran is a source of fiber. It is used most often for constipation and other bowel disorders. It is also used to prevent various cancers, for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other conditions, there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.

How does it work?

Wheat bran helps constipation by increasing stool volume, the rate it moves through the bowels, and the bowel frequency.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

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.
  • Hemorrhoids. Taking wheat bran may help to decrease the chance of getting hemorrhoids.
  • High blood pressure. Taking wheat bran seems to slightly reduce blood pressure.
  • A long-term disorder of the large intestine that causes stomach pain (irritable bowel syndrome or IBS). Taking wheat bran may reduce stomach pain and improve bowel function in people with mild to moderate IBS. But it might not work as well as guar gum.

Possibly Ineffective for

  • Colon cancer, rectal cancer. The most reliable research shows that taking fiber, including wheat bran, doesn't prevent colon cancer or rectal cancer from reappearing in people who have already had them.
  • Diabetes. Taking wheat bran doesn't seem to consistently improve blood sugar control. Also, it does not seem to improve blood pressure, cholesterol levels, or other factors associated with heart disease in people with type 2 diabetes.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Stomach cancer. People who eat more fiber, including wheat bran, seem to have a lower chance of developing stomach cancer.
  • Breast cancer.
  • Gallbladder disease.
  • A type of hernia in which the stomach bulges upward through the diaphragm (hiatal hernia).
  • High cholesterol.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of wheat bran for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Wheat bran is LIKELY SAFE for most people. It may cause gas (flatulence) and stomach discomfort, especially when first used.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Wheat bran is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

Children: Wheat bran is LIKELY SAFE for most children. It has been used safely for up to 2 years.

Interactions

Interactions?

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.

Dosing

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

ADULTS

BY MOUTH:

  • For constipation: 20-25 grams of wheat bran per day has been used. Taking higher doses of 40 grams per day does not seem to work better than taking 20 grams per day.
  • For hemorrhoids: 10 grams of wheat bran has been taken twice daily for 18 months.
  • 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 has been used.
  • For a long-term disorder of the large intestine that causes stomach pain (irritable bowel syndrome or IBS): 30 grams of wheat bran per day for up to 12 weeks has been used.
CHILDREN

BY MOUTH:
  • For constipation: 5-20 grams per day based on age has been used for up to 2 years.
The Institute of Medicine publishes dietary reference intakes for fiber, which is an estimate of the intake level necessary to meet the requirements of nearly all healthy individuals in the population. For children 1 to 3 years, the adequate intake (AI) is 19 grams; for children 4 to 8 years, 25 grams. For boys 9 to 13 years, the AI is 31 grams; for boys 14 to 18 years, 38 grams. For girls 9 to 18 years, the AI is 26 grams. For men 19 to 50 years, the AI is 38 grams, and 30 grams for men older than 51 years. For women 19 to 50 years, the AI is 25 grams, and 21 grams for women older than 51 years. For pregnant women, the AI is 28 grams, and 29 grams for breast-feeding women. AI for children less than one year has not been set. A tolerable upper intake levels (UL) for fiber, the highest intake level at which no unwanted side effects are expected, has not been set.

View References

REFERENCES:

  • 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.
  • Aoe S, Nakamura F, Fujiwara S. Effect of wheat bran on fecal butyrate-producing bacteria and wheat bran combined with barley on Bacteroides abundance in Japanese healthy adults. Nutrients 2018;10(12)1980. doi: 10.3390/nu10121980. 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.
  • Chiesara E, Borghini R, Marabini. Dietary fibre and drug interactions. Eur J Clin Nutr 1995;49:S123-8.
  • De Paepe K, Verspreet J, Rezaei MN, et al. Modification of wheat bran particle size and tissue composition affects colonisation and metabolism by human faecal microbiota. Food Funct 2019;10(1):379-96. doi: 10.1039/c8fo01272e. View abstract.
  • Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients). Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2002. Available at: https://www.nap.edu/books/0309085373/html/.
  • Fuchs CS, Giovannucci EL, Colditz GA, et al. Dietary fiber and the risk of colorectal cancer and adenoma in women. N Engl J Med 1999;340:169-76. View abstract.
  • 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.
  • Griffenberg L, Morris M, Atkinson N, Levenback C. The effect of dietary fiber on bowel function following radical hysterectomy: a randomized trial. Gynecol Oncol 1997;66:417-24.. View abstract.
  • Hallfrisch J, Scholfield DJ, Behall KM. Blood pressure reduced by whole grain diet containing barley or whole wheat and brown rice in moderately hypercholesterolemic men. Nutr Res 2003;23:1631-42.
  • Helton WS; SSAT, AGA, ASGE Consensus Panel. 2001 consensus statement on benign anorectal disease. J Gastrointest Surg 2002;6:302-3.
  • 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.
  • Jensen SL, Harling H, Tange G, et al. Maintenance bran therapy for prevention of symptoms after rubber band ligation of third-degree haemorrhoids. Acta Chir Scand 1988;154:395-98. View abstract.
  • Junejo SA, Zhang L, Yang L, et al. Anti-hyperlipidemic and hepatoprotective properties of wheat bran with different particle sizes. J Sci Food Agric 2019;99(4):1990-6. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.9397. View abstract.
  • Lei L, Chen J, Liu Y, Wang L, Zhao G, Chen ZY. Dietary wheat bran oil is equally as effective as rice bran oil in reducing plasma cholesterol. J Agric Food Chem 2018;66(11):2765-74. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b06093. View abstract.
  • Maffei HV, Vicentini AP. Prospective evaluation of dietary treatment in childhood constipation: high dietary fiber and wheat bran intake are associated with constipation amelioration. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2011 Jan;52(1):55-9. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e3181e2c6e2. View abstract.
  • McRorie J, Kesler J, Bishop L, et al. Effects of wheat bran and Olestra on objective measures of stool and subjective reports of GI symptoms. Am J Gastroenterol 2000;95:1244-52. View abstract.
  • Parisi GC, Zilli M, Miani MP, et al. High-fiber diet supplementation in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): a multicenter, randomized, open trial comparison between wheat bran diet and partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG). Dig Dis Sci 2002;47:1697-704.. View abstract.
  • Schatzkin A, Lanza E, Corle D, et al. Lack of effect of a low-fat, high-fiber diet on the recurrence of colorectal adenomas. Polyp Prevention Trial Study Group. N Engl J Med 2000;342:1149-55. View abstract.
  • Terry P, Lagergren J, Ye W, et al. Inverse association between intake of cereal fiber and risk of gastric cardia cancer. Gastroenterology 2001;120:387-91.. View abstract.
  • Tuncil YE, Thakkar RD, Arioglu-Tuncil S, Hamaker BR, Lindemann SR. Fecal microbiota responses to bran particles are specific to cereal type and in vitro digestion methods that mimic upper gastrointestinal tract passage. J Agric Food Chem 2018;66(47):12580-93. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.8b03469. View abstract.
  • Van Horn L. Fiber, lipids, and coronary heart disease. A statement for healthcare professionals from the Nutr Committee, Am Heart Assn. Circulation 1997;95:2701-4. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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