The very extensive use of bran as a laxative challenged this study of the influence of this material, often considered merely a dietary constituent, on the functions of the bowel.
That bran has an influence on intestinal evacuation is a commonplace observation. That bran constitutes a necessity to keep in good health certain herbivora under conditions of domestication is also quite generally admitted. The question we have set ourselves to answer is in what way bran affects the intestinal functions of man: does it stimulate peristalsis, and if so where; or does it stimulate secretions; does it produce irritation? Particularly do we desire to determine the effect of bran on persons suffering from "constipation," particularly in what forms of colon stasis bran may be useful and in what varieties it is of no value; also to what extent bran may be harmful in conditions of disease and how its effects