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February 1943


Author Affiliations

From the Research Laboratory of the Children's Fund of Michigan, in cooperation with the Methodist Children's Village.

Am J Dis Child. 1943;65(2):195-206. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1943.02010140003001

The function of fiber in the nutrition of human beings is little understood. It is alleged that in order to maintain good tone and function of the stomach and intestines and to stimulate satisfactory peristaltic action, the daily food allowance should include some "roughage" or bulk.1 Most of the experiments recorded in the literature have been performed on a limited number of adult male subjects, usually for periods of one to fourteen days, and there is a dearth of controlled data on children,2 although it is important that the desirable level of intake of roughage for the maintenance of gastrointestinal hygiene be established for them.

In connection with a study of the nitrogen and mineral metabolism of normal children,3 analyses of the food and feces for the complex carbohydrates were undertaken to ascertain the amounts which were not digested in their alimentary tracts. The investigations were made under

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