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Bran's effectiveness in reducing the need for bowel medication for intermediate care patients was examined at a VA medical center in New York. Twelve older men with chronic constipation and bowel medication use were matched and randomized to receive either bran treatment or usual care (controls). After baseline assessment, six patients were given gradually increasing daily doses of a bran mixture. Results over a 4-month period showed that these patients completely discontinued oral laxative use and had an 80% reduction in total bowel medication use without adversely affecting bowel frequency. The six men who received usual care (controls) experienced no changes.