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From: (Jay Mann)
Subject: Re: Fibre in salad vs. grains
Date: 17 Nov 1997 20:26:21 GMT

Barbara Cameron ( wrote:
: What do you call the fibre (roughage) in salad greens?
: Is the term dietary fibre used for bread, grains only? How do they
: differ in how they affect the system?

Tough question.  I'll try to answer it concisely.

The term "fibre" is most unfortunate, but we're stuck with it.  Fibre is
more-or-less the cell-walls from plants.  It can be subdivided into "soluble
fibre" and "insoluble fibre".

Insoluble fibre is, chemically, mostly cellulose and lignin.  It's about the
same as eating ground-up newspaper (without the ink).  In our diets, it
provides a necessary bulking-up agent that passes through the small and
large intestine without much change, and gives our bowels something to push
against, so to speak.  The fibre from vegetables and salads is mainly this
insoluble type.

Soluble fibre is chemically materials like beta-glucans and pentosans,
sometimes with an old-fashioned name of hemi-celluloses.  Pectin could also
be counted as a soluble fibre.  There are several health benefits from
soluble fibres.  In my opinion, most of them are related to the gel-forming
properties these have.  The thick, viscous gels move down the intestine,
slowing down diffusion of excess nutrients to the gut wall.  Since the
gel formation is proportional to the third power of the fibre concentration,
if you eat half the recommended amount of soluble fibre, you may get only an
eighth as much benefit.  So I personally take high-fibre cereal for
breakfast, rather than try to spread the bran intake throughout the day.  I
base my conclusions on the experience with poultry growers, who can give a
certain percentage of barley or oats to their birds without problems.  In
higher doses, the bird's growth is slowed down.  Anything that stops weight
intake in broiler chickens (who eat 20% of their weight a day) is probably
ideal to humans who have an incipient weight problem.

Other people, though, claim that soluble fibres also bind  chemically
to cholesterol and related materials, thus helping reduce cholesterol levels.
You wouldn't need formation of a gel for this to happen.

In the large intestine, most soluble fibres are happily consumed by
bacteria.  This can lead to gas formation, but on the other hand beneficial
bacteria may be favoured by feeding with soluble fibres.

Oat and barley seeds are some of the best sources for soluble fibres.
Note that there aren't universally accepted ways to analyse for fibres, much
less soluble vs insoluble.

The upshot is that a "high-bran" cereal can be rich in insoluble fibre, if
the main ingredient is wheat, or can be rich in both soluble and
insoluble fibre, if oat or barley bran is used.

Hope this helps.

Jay D Mann  <>
Christchurch, New Zealand

From: "Steve Harris" <>
Subject: Re: What causes sticky bowel movements?
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2003 16:07:10 -0700
Message-ID: <bbj9ph$ge5$>

You're both eating the wrong diet. Add a banana to every
meal and things will be much better. Enough soluble fiber
and you'll hardly need toilet paper at all, like yer dog.


"Matt F." <> wrote in message
> i've had this problem for years.  and i'm 24.  it's no fun.
> i use something called balneol to help cleanse after each bm.  i now eat
> the metamucil wafers each day, drink lots of water.  but i still get
> this from time to time.  i gave up coffee because i thought it was the
> problem.  it def'ly was a stimulant, but i still get these "sloppy
> poops."
> i had a colonoscopy and it was all clear.  no fissures, nothing.  i call
> it ibs but it's not the bad kind everyone here seem to have., i just
> have a hell of a time cleaning up after probably 7 out of 10 bm's.
> -m-
> "Craig" <> wrote in message
> news:Rllfa.168$
> > For the past few months, I'ce been experienceing bowel movements that
> > for lack of any other words, can only be described as sticky. The
> > probem is, after each bm, there is always a small amount "stuck" in
> > the rectum. Wiping until clean is a waste of time, as that little last
> > piece never seems to be gotten rid of. If I am successful in removing
> > the last piece, withing an hour, I experience itchiness, and when I
> > got to the washroom to clean, the tissue is as if I just had a bm, all
> > soiled...apparently from this last sticky piece that doesn't leave and
> > has started to leak out. The doctor gave me Proctosedyl, a
> > hydrocortisone based suppository. It's not meant to be used for longer
> > than 7 days...daily Metamucil helped for a while, but the symptoms
> > have returned...
> > 
> > I'm 45, male, and have been on daily panataloc for 3 years to treat
> > reflux disease.
> >
> > Thanks.
> >
> >

From: "Steve Harris" <>
Subject: Re: What causes sticky bowel movements?
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2003 18:51:19 -0700
Message-ID: <bbjjam$nsi$>

Because that's what soluble fiber DOES-- gives you
moderately bulky turds that stick together with little
residue. Evolutionarily you're a deluxe model chimp--
bananas are also the sort of thing your digest tract was
made to most effectively handle. If you exist on fast food
and processed food, you're going to pay for it in the end.
So to speak.

"Matt F." <> wrote in message
> how did you know my diet is wrong?  i didn't say anything about it!
> bananas, huh?  i'll have to give that a try.  why should they help?
> thanks.
> -m-

From: "Steve Harris" <>
Subject: Re: What causes sticky bowel movements?
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2003 19:56:36 -0700
Message-ID: <bbjn53$2p2$>

"Jeff Utz" <> wrote in message
> If I eat a lot of McDonalds and processed foods, I hardly poop at all. I
> guess that takes care of this sort of problem.

Not really!  You can be constipated and still have lots of
mess when you do go. The worst of both worlds, so to speak.

You have to be constipated to the point of passing rabbit
turds to get as little mess as you get from a proper high
soluble fiber diet, and even then (with the rabbit turd
producing diet) you get the feeling all the time that you
haven't got it all out.

>Of course, I want to live
> past 80, so I don't eat a lot of that crap, so I poop more.

Yep. As Dennis Burkitt, African doctor, used to say of
countries, "The larger the stools, the smaller the
hospitals." He was a great traveler and had an illustrated
lecture called "Stools From Around the World," which was


From: "Steve Harris" <>
Subject: Re: What causes sticky bowel movements?
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2003 20:37:39 -0700
Message-ID: <bbjpi3$e2h$>

Yeah, google soluble fiber. Good sources are oats, barley,
peas, beans (pork and beans are a favorite), citrus fruits,
apples, raisins, bananas, etc. Dried fruit also. A
supplement called Citrucel is particularly good.

The main thing is to have some with every meal, not just at
lunch. Every time you have a meal, even if you have to carry
raisins in a bag, a fiber bar, or whatever.

"Matt F." <> wrote in message
> Sweet, I'll have to make that part of my lunch now.  Hey thanks for the
> input!
> Any other examples?  Hmm I suppose I could find other sources on the web
> eh?
> -M-

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