It’s no surprise that fiber is a vital part of a healthy diet, but specialists at the National Cancer Institute says that fiber from whole grains reduces the risk of death.

Getting lots of dietary fiber appears to reduce the risk of dying — especially from
infectious, cardiovascular, or respiratory diseases — according to a large observational review.

The review of more than 500,000 people found those with the highest dietary fiber
intake — an average of 29. grams every day for men and 26 for women — had a 22 percent lower risk of dying from any cause more than nine years of follow-up compared with those with the lowest fiber, according to Dr. Yikyung Park, of the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Md., and colleagues found.

Higher fiber utilization lowered the risk of death from infectious, cardiovascular,
and respiratory diseases by 24 percent to 56 percent in men and by 34 percent to 59 percent in women, Park, and co-authors reported online in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

“Making fiber-rich food decisions more often may provide significant health
advantages,” the group wrote in the paper — but noticed that only grain sources of fiber was significantly connected to the mortality benefit.

U.S. dietary rules recommend eating vegetables, fiber-rich fruits, and whole grains
to get 14 g of fiber per 1,000 calories.

In the review, though, fiber from beans and vegetables showed only a weak connection to mortality, while fiber from fruit showed no connection.

An accompanying editorial argued that piling on whole grains was the approach.

“While fiber is clearly a component of whole grains, the reverse is not valid,”
composed Dr. Lawrence de Koning, and Dr. Frank B. Hu, both of Harvard.

“Fiber isolates most likely do not provide the same advantages as intact, whole grains,” they included. “Substituting whole grains for refined grains would provide benefits not only from fiber but also from other unique health-promoting components of whole grains.”

The review findings came from examination of the National Institutes of Health-AARP
Diet and Health Study, a prospective cohort study that evaluates diet through a questionnaire at baseline in 1995-1996.

Among the 567,169 people ages, 50 to 71 that completed the food-frequency The questionnaire, 20,126 men, and 11,330 women died during the subsequent nine years.

Each 10-g-every-day increase of fiber intake was related to a multivariate-balanced
lower risk of death.

This relationship persisted in analyses by smoking status and crosswise body mass index categories. Correction for measurement mistake in assessing dietary fiber intake really strengthened the associations.

The specialists noticed that these results matched the consistently reduced
cardiovascular risk seen in earlier reviews with higher fiber intake, which may be due to its effects on lipids, insulin factors, and blood pressure.

The anti-inflammatory properties of fiber could be another part of the clarification for reductions in respiratory, cardiovascular, and infectious disease mortality, they suggested.

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