• Intervention
    Is there a relationship between a patient's intake of soluble fiber and a reduction in radiation-induced diarrhea caused by pelvic radiation for prostate or gynecological cancer patients?
    • Conclusion

      One (1) RCT (+ quality) found that 1-2 teaspoons Metamucil, composed of psyllium fiber, taken daily during the course of pelvic radiation treatment for prostate or gynecological cancer, was effective in reducing the incidence (p = 0.030) and severity (p = 0.049) of radiation-induced diarrhea (RID).  When data was analyzed excluding the use of anti-diarrheal medications, Metamucil still demonstrated a trend toward effectiveness in decreasing the incidence (p = 0.078) and severity (p = 0.107) of RID, but did not reach statistical significance.   This study was limited by a high dropout rate, mostly due to failure to complete diaries.  Further study is needed to evaluate the role of psyllium fiber in controlling RID.


    • Grade: III
      • Grade I means there is Good/Strong evidence supporting the statement;
      • Grade II is Fair;
      • Grade III is Limited/Weak;
      • Grade IV is Expert Opinion Only;
      • Grade V is Not Assignable.
      • High (A) means we are very confident that the true effect lies close to that of the estimate of the effect;
      • Moderate (B) means we are moderately confident in the effect estimate;
      • Low (C) means our confidence in the effect estimate is limited;
      • Very Low (D) means we have very little confidence in the effect estimate.
      • Ungraded means a grade is not assignable.
    • Search Plan and Results: Soluble Fiber and Symptoms/Complications 2006