Supplementation with gum arabic fiber increases fecal nitrogen excretion and lowers serum urea nitrogen concentration in chronic renal failure patients consuming a low-protein diet.
Food Addit Contam. 2001 Jan;18(1):1-10. PMID: 8602598
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, USA.
In chronic renal failure (CRF), plasma concentrations of the products of protein metabolism are increased. Current dietary management is to prescribe a decrease in protein intake. The use of dietary fiber to increase fecal excretion of retained metabolites in CRF may be a beneficial adjunct to a low-protein diet (LPD). Colonic bacteria ferment dietary fiber, providing them with energy for growth and nitrogen incorporation, in turn, increasing nitrogen excretion in feces. Sixteen CRF patients consuming an LPD were randomly assigned to receive a supplement of a highly fermentable fiber, gum arabic (50 g/d), or a placebo (1 g pectin/d) in a prospective, single-blind, crossover design. Fecal bacterial mass and fecal nitrogen content were significantly increased during supplementation with gum arabic compared with the baseline LPD or supplementation with pectin. Serum urea nitrogen was significantly decreased during supplementation with gum arabic compared with the baseline LPD or supplementation with pectin. Nitrogen balance did not change significantly.