Eating more fiber could help you live longer.
That’s the message from a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Researchers from the National Cancer Institute looked at data collected from a nine-year period from 219,123 men and 168,999 women in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study.
The results are compelling: “The risk of cardiovascular, infectious and respiratory diseases was reduced by 24 percent to 56 percent in men and 34 percent to 59 percent in women with high fiber intakes.”
The study authors conclude: "A diet rich in dietary fiber from whole plant foods may provide significant health benefits."
Find Out What Fiber Is and What It Does: A Tale of Two Fibers
Read the full release below from the Archives:
Fiber Intake Associated With Reduced Risk of Death
Dietary fiber may be associated with a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular, infectious and respiratory diseases, as well as a reduced risk of death from any cause over a nine-year period, according to a report posted online today that will be published in the June 14 print issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Fiber, the edible part of plants that resist digestion, has been hypothesized to lower risks of heart disease, some cancers, diabetes and obesity, according to background information in the article. It is known to assist with bowel movements, reduce blood cholesterol levels, improve blood glucose levels, lower blood pressure, promote weight loss and reduce inflammation and bind to potential cancer-causing agents to increase the likelihood they will be excreted by the body.
Yikyung Park, Sc.D., of the National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Md., and colleagues analyzed data from 219,123 men and 168,999 women in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study. Participants completed a food frequency questionnaire at the beginning of the study in 1995 and 1996. Causes of death were determined by linking study records to national registries. (Discover More About How to Live Longer: Four Unhealthy Behaviors Cut Longevity)
Participants’ fiber intake ranged from 13 to 29 grams per day in men and from 11 to 26 grams per day in women. Over an average of nine years of follow-up, 20,126 men and 11,330 women died. Fiber intake was associated with a significantly decreased risk of total death in both men and women—the one-fifth of men and women consuming the most fiber (29.4 grams per day for men and 25.8 grams for women) were 22 percent less likely to die than those consuming the least (12.6 grams per day for men and 10.8 grams for women).
The risk of cardiovascular, infectious and respiratory diseases was reduced by 24 percent to 56 percent in men and 34 percent to 59 percent in women with high fiber intakes. Dietary fiber from grains, but not from other sources such as fruits, was associated with reduced risks of total, cardiovascular, cancer and respiratory disease deaths in men and women.
"The findings remained robust when we corrected for dietary intake measurement error using calibration study data; in fact, the association was even stronger with measurement error correction," the authors write.
"The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend choosing fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains frequently and consuming 14 grams per 1,000 calories of dietary fiber," the authors conclude. "A diet rich in dietary fiber from whole plant foods may provide significant health benefits."
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Get More About Healthy Eating:
How what you eat on a regular basis can contribute to various conditions: Live and Let Diet: What Hurts and What Helps
We made a list of healthy food choices—stuff that has been getting a lot of attention: List of Healthy Food Choices
Now we’d like to hear from you…
What high fiber foods do you eat?
Do you get your fiber from whole grains, fruit and vegetables or both?
Please let us know your thoughts by posting a comment below.
Wishing You Best Health!
The Pill Advised Team
“Dietary Fiber Intake and Mortality in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study”
Yikyung Park, ScD; Amy F. Subar, PhD; Albert Hollenbeck, PhD; Arthur Schatzkin, MD
Arch Intern Med. Published online February 14, 2011. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.18
Author Affiliations: Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (Drs Park and Schatzkin), and Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (Dr Subar), National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Maryland; and AARP, Washington, DC (Dr Hollenbeck).
The study was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health.
The Archives of Internal Medicine, with a print circulation of over 70,000 physicians in 77 countries, began publication in 1908. Its mission is to promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of human health by publishing manuscripts of interest and relevance to internists practicing as generalists or as medical subspecialists.