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Dietary Fiber Intake Is Associated Inversely with Cardiovascular Risks

January 23, 2014

Dietary Fiber Intake Is Associated Inversely with Cardiovascular Risks

  1. Paul S. Mueller, MD, MPH, FACP

Every 7-g increase in daily dietary fiber intake was associated with significantly lower risks for coronary heart disease and CV disease.

  1. Paul S. Mueller, MD, MPH, FACP

High dietary fiber intake is associated with lower risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). However, which fiber types are protective and whether a dose–response relation exists are unclear. In this meta-analysis of 22 observational cohort studies, investigators assessed associations between intakes of various dietary fiber types and risks for first CHD and cardiovascular disease (CVD) events.

Every 7-g daily increase in total dietary fiber intake (e.g., the amount in about 1 cup of bran flakes, 1 cup of raw green peas, or 2 apples) was associated significantly with lower risk for CHD and CVD events (risk ratio, 0.9 for both). Findings were similar for each of the various types of fiber (soluble, insoluble, vegetable, fruit, cereal), although the lowered risk just missed statistical significance for some subgroups.

Comment

In this study, higher dietary fiber intakes — from various sources — were associated with lower risks for coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease in a dose–response pattern. Women and men should aim for total dietary fiber intakes of 25 g daily and 38 g daily, respectively. Finally, although these observational studies adjusted for confounding variables to some extent, some confounding remains possible (e.g., high dietary fiber intake is associated with other healthy behaviors).

  • Disclosures for Paul S. Mueller, MD, MPH, FACP at time of publication Consultant / advisory board Boston Scientific (Patient Safety Advisory Board) Leadership positions in professional societies American Osler Society (Secretary)

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