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Banana diet in bacillary dysentery A Proctoscopic Study


Bananas have been employed in diseases of the gastro-intestinal tract since 1924 and reports thus far have been confined mainly to the consistency and character of stools, systemic effect, and only occasionally to proctoscopic changes in the distal bowel.

An investigation was undertaken to determine the value of bananas in bacillary dysentery. One hundred twenty-seven patients were observed; sixty-five being on banana diets and sixty-two on control diets, which consisted of the usual institutional dietary regime.

Every patient received a preliminary procto-sig-moidoscopic examination upon which the diagnosis was based and which was substantiated in a large percentage of cases by positive bacteriologic and serologic findings. Subsequent sigmoidoscopies were made periodically to determine the character and consistency of the stool and the appearance of the mucosa of the rectum and sigmoid.

Diets were prescribed according to the age, weight and physical condition of the patients who were divided into ten different groups; five on test diets of variable caloric content and composed principally of bananas, and five on control diets without bananas.

Observations of symptoms, weight, temperature, appearance of the rectum and sigmoid, and the mortality and morbidity rate of the patients in comparable groups tend to indicate that the use of bananas is advantageous in bacillary dysentery.

Bananas furnished through the courtesy of the United Fruit Company, New York City, New York.

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Correspondence to Louis H. Block or Alexander Tarnowski.

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Block, L.H., Tarnowski, A. Banana diet in bacillary dysentery A Proctoscopic Study. Jour. D. D. 8, 3–8 (1941).

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  • Control Diet
  • Gastric Motility
  • Bacillary Dysentery
  • Test Diet
  • Liquid Stool