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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1999 Oct;29(4):411-7.

Effect of gum arabic in an oral rehydration solution on recovery from diarrhea in rats.

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Department of Pediatrics, North Shore University Hospital, New York University School of Medicine, Manhasset, USA.



It has been shown that gum arabic, a soluble fiber, enhances water, electrolyte, and glucose absorption from oral rehydration solutions in jejunal perfusion of healthy rats and in animals with theophylline-induced secretion or chronic osmotic-secretory diarrhea. This report concerns a study of the effectiveness of an oral rehydration solution supplemented with gum arabic, during recovery from chronic osmotic secretory diarrhea in free-living rats.


Chronic diarrhea was induced in 60- to 80-g juvenile rats by providing a magnesium citrate-phenolphthalein solution as the sole fluid source for 7 days. This led to diarrhea characterized by dehydration, soft stools, increased cecal volume, decreased food and fluid intake and failure to gain weight. After 7 days of diarrhea, rats recovered for 24 hours with either tap water or an oral rehydration solution (90 mM Na, 111 mM glucose, 20 mM K, 80 mM chloride, 20 mM citrate) with or without 2.5 g/l gum arabic.


Although all three solutions improved the diarrhea, optimal recovery from diarrhea was achieved with the gum arabic-supplemented oral rehydration solution. After 4 hours and 24 hours, rats drinking the gum arabic-supplemented solution gained more weight and had lower fecal output than rats receiving water or the rehydration solution without gum arabic. All three solutions normalized plasma osmolality after 24 hours.


The positive effects of the gum arabic-supplemented rehydration solution on fluid and electrolyte absorption seen during jejunal perfusion also occurred during recovery from chronic osmotic secretory diarrhea, when free-living animals drank the solution ad libitum.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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