Fibers in pediatric functional gastrointestinal disorders. Practical considerations from clinical cases

Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2021 Feb 17;1-5. doi: 10.1080/17474124.2021.1884543.Online ahead of print.

Claudio Romano 1, Socrate Pallio 2, Ugo Cucinotta 1, Paola Accorsi 3, Valeria Dipasquale 1


Author information

  • 1Pediatric Gastroenterology and Cystic Fibrosis Unit, Department of Human Pathology in Adulthood and Childhood "G.Barresi", University of Messina, Messina, Italy.
  • 2Division of Digestive Endoscopy, University of Messina, Messina, Italy.
  • 3Pediatric Nutrition Team, Pediatric Unit of Santa Maria Nuova Hospital, Azienda Unit Sanitaria Locale di Reggio Emilia-IRCCS (AUSL-IRCCS), Reggio Emilia, Italy.


Introduction: Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) are common in children and incur high direct and indirect social costs. Partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG) is a natural and water-soluble dietary fiber that is derived from guar gum. It has been proposed as complementary therapy in pediatric FGIDs, especially in chronic functional constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.Areas covered: By focusing on four clinical cases, this article illustrates the use of PHGG fiber as sole supplement ingredient or as a formula component in orally- and tube-fed children suffering from malnutrition due to FGIDs, with or without special medical conditions such as neurological disability. The formula used was a whey peptide-based nutritionally complete formula containing PHGG as a source of soluble dietary fiber. It was offered under medical supervision and after full consideration of all feeding options.Expert opinion: Implementing appropriate feeding behaviors, adapted to age and potential comorbidities, is an essential requisite for therapeutic management of FGIDs. The use of a PHGG supplement or a nutritionally complete formula containing PHGG as a source of soluble dietary fiber can be helpful to manage pediatric FGIDs.

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