Published online Jul 7, 2005. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v11.i25.3935
Revised: June 23, 2004
Accepted: June 24, 2004
Published online: July 7, 2005
AIM: To evaluate the effects of dietary fiber (DF) as a part of enteral nutrition (EN) formula on diarrhea, infection, and length of hospital stay.
METHODS: Following electronic databases were searched for randomized controlled trials about DF: Chinese Biomedicine Database (CBM), MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Controlled Trials Register. RevMan 4.1 was used for statistical analysis.
RESULTS: Seven randomized controlled trials with 400 pat-ients were included. The supplement of DF in EN was compared with standard enteral formula in five trials. Combined analysis did not show a significant reduction in occurrence of diarrhea, but there were valuable results for non-critically ill patients. Combined analysis of two trials observing the infection also did not show any valid evidence that DF could decrease the infection rate, though the length of hospital stay was reduced significantly.
CONCLUSION: Based on the current eligible randomized controlled trials, there is no evidence that the value of DF in the diarrhea can be proved. Though length of hospital stay was shortened by the use of DF, there is no available evidence in preventing infection by DF. Further studies are needed for evaluating the value of DF in EN.