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Dietary Fiber Can Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease and Cancer

2019-03-05 09:37 Tuesday


A recent study found that eating large amounts of fiber-rich foods can prevent noncommunicable diseases.

Dietary Fiber Can Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease and Cancer

The fiber content of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains appears to reduce the risk of death from heart disease, diabetes and colorectal cancer.

Professor Jim Mann, from the University of Otago in New Zealand, was the study's author. He said: "our results provide compelling evidence for nutritional guidelines that should focus on increasing dietary fibre and replacing refined grains with whole grains." "This has reduced the incidence and mortality of many important diseases."

Their results showed the benefits of eating at least 25 to 29 grams of dietary fiber a day. Compared with those with the lowest fiber intake, those with the highest fiber intake had a 15 to 30% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and other causes.

Eating fiber-rich foods also reduced the risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, colorectal cancer and type-2 diabetes by 16 to 24%. In addition, high fiber intake was associated with healthier cholesterol and body weight compared with low fiber intake.

For every 8g increase in daily dietary fibre intake, the incidence and mortality of coronary heart disease, colorectal cancer and type-2 diabetes are reduced by 5 to 27%. The ability to prevent strokes and breast cancer has also improved. While 25 to 29 grams of vitamin D a day is enough, the data show that more vitamin D provides more protection.

Dietary intake of 15 grams of whole grains per day was associated with a 2% to 19% reduction in the incidence and mortality of coronary heart disease, colorectal cancer and type-2 diabetes. Increased consumption of whole grains was associated with a 13 to 33% reduction in noncommunicable disease risk. Whole grains were also associated with lower body weight.

The World Health Organization commissioned the study to guide the development of new dietary fiber recommendations for optimal health. Another goal of the study was to determine which carbohydrates were most effective for weight gain and noncommunicable diseases.

Most people in the world consume far less fiber than health experts recommend, and the promotion of dietary fiber still has a long way to go.

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