Partially hydrolyzed guar gum-supplemented oral rehydration solution in the treatment of acute diarrhea in children

Nur H. Alam, Remy Meier, Heinz Schneider, Shafiqul A. Sarker, Pradip K. Bardhan, Dilip Mahalanabis, George J. Fuchs, Niklaus Gyr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Background: Partially hydrolyzed guar gum (Benefiber; Novartis Nutrition, Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A.) is fermented by colonic bacteria liberating short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which accelerate colonic absorption of salt and water. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of Benefiber (BF)- supplemented World Health Organization Oral Rehydration Solution (WHO ORS) in the treatment of acute noncholera diarrhea in children. Methods: A double-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial was performed at ICDDR,B in 150 male children aged 4 to 18 months who had watery diarrhea of less than 48 hours' duration. After admission, children were assigned to receive either WHO ORS or BF-supplemented WHO ORS until recovery. Major outcome measures, such as duration of diarrhea and amount of stool output, were compared between the treatment groups. Results: Patients receiving BF-supplemented WHO ORS had significantly reduced duration of diarrhea compared with the control group (mean ± SD, 74 ± 37 vs. 90 ± 50 hours, P = 0.03). Survival analysis for duration of diarrhea also showed a reduction the BF-supplemented WHO ORS-treated group (P = 0.025, log rank test). There was also less stool output daily from days 2 through 7 in the patients treated with BF-supplemented WHO ORS compared with that in the children treated with WHO ORS; the reduction was significant on day 7 only. Conclusion: Benefiber added to standard WHO ORS substantially reduces the duration of diarrhea and modestly reduced stool output in acute noncholera diarrhea in young children, indicating its potential as a new antidiarrheal therapy for acute diarrhea in children. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-507
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000


  • Benefiber
  • Diarrhea
  • Guar gum
  • Short-chain fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Gastroenterology


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