The raison d'etre of this website is to provide you with hard scientific information which may help you make informed decisions in your quest for health (so far I have blogged concise summaries of over 1,500 scientific studies and have had three books published).

My research is mainly focused on the effects of cholesterol, saturated fat and statin drugs on health. If you know anyone who is worried about their cholesterol levels and heart disease, or has been told to take statin drugs you could send them a link to this website, and to my statin or cholesterol or heart disease books.

David Evans

Independent Health Researcher

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Bran should not be eaten by people with irritable bowel syndrome

This post includes a synopsis of a paper published in The Lancet Volume 344, Issue 8914, Pages 39 - 40, 2 July 1994 and a recipe for braised oxtail with star anise.

Study title and authors:
Bran and irritable bowel syndrome: time for reappraisal
C.Y Francis MRCP , P.J Whorwell FRCP
Department of Medicine, Research and Teaching Bullding, University Hospital of South Manchester, Manchester M20 8LR, UK

This paper can be accessed at:

Fiber Menace: The Truth About the Leading Role of Fiber in Diet Failure, Constipation, Hemorrhoids, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn's Disease, and Colon Cancer
The author had noted that whilst following up large numbers of patients with irritable bowel syndrome they got the impression that wholemeal wheat and bran products made people with the condition worse rather than better.
In the study Francis examined 100 people with irritable bowel syndrome to find out the effects of bran.
The study found:
(a) 55% of patients were made worse by bran whereas only 10% had found it helpful.
(b) Consumption of fruit made the condition worse.
(c) All symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome were exacerbated by bran, with bowel disturbance most often adversely affected, followed by abdominal distension and pain.
To conclude: Bran should not be eaten by people with irritable bowel syndrome and excessive consumption of bran may actually be creating patients with irritable bowel syndrome by exacerbating mild, non-complaining cases.
More information on this subject: Books : Scientific Studies : Other Websites : Videos : Food Mall

Recipe of the day

Braised Oxtail with Star Anise

Avi Glatt Kosher Beef Oxtail - 1.5 LB.
Food Mall: Oxtail
2kg/4lb 8oz oxtail pieces
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
45ml/3tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 x 5cm/2inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1.4L/2½pint good, hot beef stock
4 whole star anise
Small bunch fresh thyme sprigs
Extra fresh thyme sprigs, to garnish

1.Place the oxtail in a large bowl and season.

2.Heat the oil a large non–stick frying pan,and cook the oxtail pieces in batches for 3-4 minutes until brown. Transfer to a 2.8L/5pint ovenproof casserole dish.

3.In the same frying pan add extra oil if required and cook the onion, garlic and ginger for 5 minutes over a moderate heat until soft, but not coloured and transfer to the casserole dish. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook in the oven at Gas mark 3, 170°C, 325°F or on the hob for 3½hours.

4.Garnish with the fresh thyme leaves.