Dietary Timeline

To view a brief summary of the events from each period simply drag the mouse over the dates that are listed on the left.

To view more details click on the date link and you will be transferred to another page.

Click here to return to the timeline index page

Click here to return to the timeline intro page


Claims that adding wheat bran to the diet could help manage irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a popular notion since the 1970s, were called into question with the release of a number of placebo-controlled studies throughout the 1980s which failed to identify any benefit.

Cann, P.A.& Read, N.W. (1984) What is the benefit of coarse wheat bran in patients with irritable bowel syndrome? Gut 25:168.

Arffmann, S., Andersen, J.R., Hegnhoj, J. et al. (1985) The effect of coarse wheat bran in the irritable bowel syndrome. A double-blind cross-over study. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology 20:295.

Lucey, M.R., Clark, M.L., Lowndes, J.& Dawson, A.M. (1987) Is bran efficacious in irritable bowel syndrome? A double blind placebo controlled crossover study. Gut 28:221.

Results of a study from St Bartholomew's Hospital in London, showed that fifty-five percent felt worse through the addition of bran supplements compared to only ten percent that felt better.

Francis, C.Y.& Whorwell, P.J. (1994) Bran and irritable bowel syndrome: time for reappraisal. Lancet 344: 39.


Fighting disease with simple fruit and veg We spend …81 million a year on vitamin and mineral supplements, but scientists have discovered that a wide range of chemicals found naturally in fruit and vegetable may be an even more powerful way of preventing disease. These chemicals, which colour plants and protect them from sunlight damage, appear to exert their power by working together with each other, and with the natural vitamins also in food. The Americans are calling these newly-identified substances phytochemicals. British scientists prefer 'protective factors'. The discovery is causing a great deal of excitement among research scientists. One of those leading the way is Dr Gary Williamson, a senior scientist at the Institute Of Food Research in Norwich. © Daily Mail (London)


Preservatives in food 'may halt cancer' Two food preservatives that boost a cancer prevention mechanism in laboratory animals appear to do the same in humans, according to a study presented to an international meeting on cancer prevention. Advocates of natural foods have decried the use of preservatives, but Dr Andrew Dannenberg of Cornell Medical College found that the preservatives BHA and BHT "revved up" the gene for an enzyme that helped to prevent carcinogens from triggering tumours. BHA and BHT are synthetic additives used as preservatives in biscuits and other foods. © The Daily Telegraph