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Study affirms link between lack of dietary fiber, CVD issues

Low dietary fiber intake has a significant association with cardiometabolic risks including metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular inflammation and obesity, according to a study.

As published Oct. 16 on the website of The American Journal of Medicine, researchers used surveillance data from 23,168 subjects in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2010 to examine the role dietary fiber plays in heart health.

They sought to take a closer look at possible sex, age, racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in dietary fiber consumption, and to examine the association between dietary fiber intake and various cardiometabolic risk factors.

Dietary fiber, which previous studies have shown may help lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels and inflammation, is thought to play an important role in reducing cardiovascular risk. Despite this knowledge, investigators found that dietary fiber intake was consistently below recommended intake levels for NHANES participants.

The Institute of Medicine defines recommended intake levels according to age and sex: 38 grams per day for men ages 19 to 50, 30 grams per day for men 50 and over, 25 grams for women ages 19 to 50 and 21 grams for women older than 50.

Using data from NHANES 1999-2010, the study reveals that the average dietary fiber intake was only 16.2 grams per day across all demographics during that time period.

“Our findings indicate that, among a nationally representative sample of nonpregnant U.S. adults in NHANES 1999-2010, the consumption of dietary fiber was consistently below the recommended total adequate intake levels across survey years,” Cheryl R. Clark, MD, ScD, the study’s senior investigator from the Center for Community Health and Health Equity, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, said in a news release.

The research team found variations according to race and ethnicity, with Mexican-Americans (18.8 grams per day) consuming higher amounts of dietary fiber and non-Hispanic blacks (13.1) consuming lower amounts of dietary fiber compared with non-Hispanic whites (16.3).

Participants with the highest prevalence of metabolic syndrome, inflammation and obesity were in the lowest quintile of dietary fiber intake.

“Overall, the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome, inflammation and obesity each decreased with increasing quintiles of dietary fiber intake,” Clark said. “Compared with participants in the lowest quintile of dietary fiber intake, participants in the highest quintile of dietary fiber intake had a statistically significant lower risk of having the metabolic syndrome, inflammation and obesity.”

This new data analysis emphasizes the importance of getting adults across diverse ethnicities to increase their dietary fiber intake to mitigate the risk of cardiovascular damage, the researchers said. “Additional research is needed to determine effective clinical and population-based strategies for improving fiber intake trends in diverse groups,” Clark said.

Study abstract:

By | 2013-11-03T00:00:00-04:00 November 3rd, 2013|Categories: Nursing Specialties, Specialty|0 Comments

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