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Dietary Fiber


Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Dec;86(6):1626-32.

Dietary fiber intake and retinal vascular caliber in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.

Kan H, Stevens J, Heiss G, Klein R, Rose KM, London SJ.

Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Research Triangle Park , NC 27709 , USA .

BACKGROUND: Dietary fiber appears to decrease the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Microvascular abnormalities can be observed by retinal examination and contribute to the pathogenesis of various cardiovascular diseases. The impact of dietary fiber on the retinal microvasculature is not known. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to examine the association between dietary fiber intake and retinal vascular caliber. DESIGN: At the third visit (1993-1995) of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, a population-based cohort of adults in 4 US communities, the retinal vascular caliber of 10,659 participants was measured and summarized from digital retinal photographs. Usual dietary intake during the same period was assessed with a 66-item food-frequency questionnaire. RESULTS: After control for potential confounders including hypertension, diabetes, lipids, demographic factors, cigarette smoking, total energy intake, micronutrients intake, and other cardiovascular disease risk factors, higher intake of fiber from all sources and from cereal were significantly associated with wider retinal arteriolar caliber and narrower venular caliber. Participants in the highest quintile of fiber intake from all sources had a 1.05-microm larger arteriolar caliber (P for trend = 0.012) and a 1.11-microm smaller venular caliber (P for trend = 0.029). CONCLUSIONS: Dietary fiber was related to wider retinal arteriolar caliber and narrower venular caliber, which are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. These data add to the growing evidence of the benefits of fiber intake on various aspects of cardiovascular pathogenesis.

Source: PubMed

Nutr Rev. 2009 Apr;67(4):188-205.

Health benefits of dietary fiber.

Anderson JW, Baird P, Davis RH Jr, Ferreri S, Knudtson M, Koraym A, Waters V, Williams CL.

Department of Internal Medicine and Nutritional Sciences Program, University of Kentucky , Lexington , Kentucky 40502 , USA .

Dietary fiber intake provides many health benefits. However, average fiber intakes for US children and adults are less than half of the recommended levels. Individuals with high intakes of dietary fiber appear to be at significantly lower risk for developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Increasing fiber intake lowers blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels. Increased intake of soluble fiber improves glycemia and insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic and diabetic individuals. Fiber supplementation in obese individuals significantly enhances weight loss. Increased fiber intake benefits a number of gastrointestinal disorders including the following: gastroesophageal reflux disease, duodenal ulcer, diverticulitis, constipation, and hemorrhoids. Prebiotic fibers appear to enhance immune function. Dietary fiber intake provides similar benefits for children as for adults. The recommended dietary fiber intakes for children and adults are 14 g/1000 kcal. More effective communication and consumer education is required to enhance fiber consumption from foods or supplements.

Source: PubMed

Arq Bras Endocrinol Metabol. 2009 Jul;53(5):509-18.

[Dietary fibers: current trends and health benefits in the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes]

[Original Article in Portuguese]

de Mello VD, Laaksonen DE.

School of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, Department of Clinical Nutrition, University of Kuopio -- P.O. Box 1627, FIN-70211 -- Kuopio, Finland.

Dietary fiber may contribute to both the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). In epidemiological studies the intake of insoluble fiber, but not the intake of soluble fiber, has been inversely associated with the incidence of T2DM. In contrast, in postprandial studies, meals containing sufficiently quantities of beta-glucan, psyllium, or guar gum have decreased insulin and glucose responses in both healthy individuals and patients with T2DM. Diets enriched sufficiently in soluble fiber may also improve overall glycemic control in T2DM. Insoluble fiber has little effect on postprandial insulin and glucose responses. Fiber increases satiety. In some studies, insoluble fiber has been associated with less weight gain over time. Limited cross-sectional evidence suggests an inverse relationship between intake of cereal fiber and whole-grains and the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome. Although long-term data from trials focusing on specifically dietary fiber are lacking, meeting current recommendations for a minimum fiber intake of 25 g/d based on a diet rich in whole grains, fruits and legumes will probably decrease the risk of obesity, the metabolic syndrome and T2DM.

Source: PubMed