Sunday, October 08, 2006

Bulking up at home

This is not an exercise tip but rather a remedy for constipation.

Doctors often recommend psyllium, a non-absorbable plant fiber that adds a gelatinous sort of backbone to your stools to keep them moving towards the exit sign. Psyllium, however, can be expensive and a little creepy to use. So researchers at the University of Texas SouthwestenMedical Center in Dallas have found an easier solution.

Their urogynecology clinic schedule was backed up with constipated patients, so they invited 82 of them to participate in this little trial. Half were randomized to take 1 teaspoon of psyllium in 8 oz. of liquid each day for 6 weeks while the other half lucked out and received the tasty concoction noted below. All subjects kept bowel diaries.

[Dear Diary,
I hate to dump on you again, but I can't take any more of this gritty crap they are serving us each day in juice.

Both groups enjoyed a decrease in constipation scores, and the researchers declared the recipe "an effective and economical stool-bulking agent for the treatment of constipation.

Pantry Remedy for Constipation

1 cup applesauce
1 cup coarse, unprocessed wheat bran
1/4 cup prune juice

Cost over 6 weeks: $8.65
Cost for psyllium over 6 weeks: $16.72

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