Fibre Intake and Psychological Wellbeing

Fibre Intake & Psychological Wellbeing

The effect of fibre intake on digestive health and psychological wellbeing has been reported in numerous studies. For example, constipation has been associated with mental health problems1, reduced energy levels and lower mood2. Increasing fibre intakes by asking men and women to consume one serving of All-Bran® (a wheat bran rich cereal) daily has been found to improve both physical and mental health, and reduce ratings of fatigue by 10% within one week of commencing consumption3.

What is interesting is that even small increases in wheat bran intakes can have significant effects on digestive health. Recent research in the UK4,5 shows that wheat bran can effectively alleviate the many symptoms of digestive discomfort (e.g. bloating, feeling lethargic, etc.) and improve psychological well-being within a short timeframe for both men and women. In fact, eating a single bowl of All-Bran® (providing a 5g boost to fibre intake, 3.5g from wheat bran) gave measurable and significant improvements to symptoms of both digestive well-being and psychological health within less than one week.  

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A third, as yet unpublished study, focused solely on women. One hundred and fifteen healthy women were asked to consume one bowl of All-Bran® for breakfast every day, for five consecutive days. Again highly significant improvements were shown to bloating, sluggishness and digestive discomfort. Overall 87% of women reported an improvement to digestive comfort, most experiencing this change by day 3 (see figure below). Subjects were free to choose any one of seven All-Bran® cereals, providing between 2.7-11g wheat bran fibre per serving.



  1. Smith A, et al (2000) The Scale of occupational stress: the Bristol stress and health at workstudy HSE books Report.
  2. Benton D (2001) Well-being gastrointestinal function and other reactions to food. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 60:190A
  3. Smith A, et al (2001) High Fibre breakfast cereals reduce fatigue. Appetite 37: 1-3
  4. Lawton CL et al (2013) Short term (14 days) consumption of insoluble wheat bran fibre-containing breakfast cereals improves subjective digestive feelings, general wellbeing and bowel function in a dose dependent manner. Nutrients 5: 1436-1455
  5. Lawton CL et al (2011) Effects of increasing dietary fibre on psychological wellbeing. Ann Nutr Metab 58: 266