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NHANES Data Show Cardiometabolic Benefits of Dietary Fiber, But Low U.S. Intake — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
October 22, 2013

NHANES Data Show Cardiometabolic Benefits of Dietary Fiber, But Low U.S. Intake

By Joe Elia

Higher amounts of dietary fiber are associated with lower cardiometabolic risks, but Americans fall well below recommended intakes, an American Journal of Medicine study finds.

In a cross-sectional study, researchers used U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data collected over a 12-year period to examine trends in the nation's fiber intake and to compare that with risk levels for metabolic syndrome, obesity, and cardiovascular inflammation as measured by C-reactive protein.

Daily fiber intake recommendations fall between 20 and 40 grams depending on age and sex, but averaged about 16 g overall in the participants. Levels increased by about a gram over the survey period. People in the highest quintile of consumption (more than 22.5 g) showed lower risks for cardiovascular inflammation than those in the lowest quintile (less than 8.1 g). Lower risks for obesity and metabolic syndrome, however, were noted only in white subjects.

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