Letters

Oral rehydration solution

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7320.1068/a (Published 03 November 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1068

Rice water is cheap and effective

  1. Ting Fei Ho, associate professor, department of physiology ([email protected]),
  2. William C L Yip, adjunct associate professor, department of paediatrics
  1. Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119260
  2. Division of GI/Nutrition, Children's Hospital, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA
  3. Mangla Hospital, Shakti Chowk, Bijnor-246701, Uttar Pradesh, India

    EDITOR—Hahn et al report that reduced osmolarity rehydration solution is associated with a better outcome with regard to use of intravenous infusion, stool output, and vomiting than is standard WHO (World Health Organization) oral rehydration solution in acute diarrhoea.1 As Fuchs points out in the accompanying editorial, output and duration of diarrhoea are important clinical outcomes when the efficacy of an oral rehydration fluid is considered.2

    Rice water decreases stool output and can be used in mild to moderate gastroenteritis. Cheap and easily available, it is a common home or folk remedy for mild gastroenteritis in infants and children in many South East Asian families. It has also been used in hospital paediatric practice with good results.3 Almost 20 years ago Wong highlighted the superior efficacy of rice water compared with WHO oral electrolyte solution for gastroenteritis in children.3 Rice water significantly decreased the number of stools a day, and intravenous intervention was not necessary.

    One notable property of rice water that may be responsible for …

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