Dietary fiber may be associated with a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular, infectious and respiratory diseases, as well as a reduced risk of death from any cause over a nine-year period, according to a report posted in the online edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Fiber, the edible part of plants that resist digestion, has been hypothesized to lower risks of heart disease, some cancers, diabetes and obesity. It is known to assist with bowel movements, reduce blood cholesterol levels, improve blood glucose levels, lower blood pressure, promote weight loss and reduce inflammation and bind to potential cancer-causing agents to increase the likelihood they will be excreted by the body.
The study found the risk of cardiovascular, infectious and respiratory diseases was reduced by 24 percent to 56 percent in men and 34 percent to 59 percent in women with high fiber intakes. Dietary fiber from grains, but not from other sources such as fruits, was associated with reduced risks of total, cardiovascular, cancer and respiratory disease deaths in men and women.