Who among us doesn’t want to live a little longer? Â Well, a recently published study from researchers in the United Kingdom confirms that obvious–that those who consume more dietary fiber are less likely to have a stroke than those who do not.
Want to feel a little healthier and reduce the chances of dying from stroke? Â Yes, well one recently publicized way to do this is to eat a lot more fiber (see: Â Dietary Fiber Cheat Sheet). Â An overarching study of many other studies aka a meta-anlysis has come up with this not-so-surprising finding. The exact way in which fiber works to reduce the risks of stroke is not certain and it may be coincidental with other factors in a healthy lifestyle.
Dietary Fiber and the Rule of 7’s?
What the researchers found was that for every 7 g increase in reported dietary fiber intake, participants had a 7% lower risk of having a stroke! Â Depending on how you like to count, this could be 7 more reasons why you need to consume more dietary fiber–or perhaps just one.
The meta-researchers at the University of Leeds in England published their findings in the online journal â€˜Strokeâ€™ and commented “Our study supports current guidelines to increase fiber consumption.”Â The study team also concluded that there was insufficient data identify the precise sources or types of fiber that were most efficacious.
7 Gram Roughage Boost
The eating habit to get into is referred to as a daily 7 gram roughage boost. It is eminently achievable with just an additional helping of beans or two additional pieces of fruit such as an apple or an orange. The bad news is that in America, the average person falls short of the recommended fiber intake. American women only consume on average 13 grams, while they should be consuming more than 23 grams. Â In contrast, American men only consume 17 grams while they really need to be consuming 34.
All scientific observations and common sense reinforce the link between fiber in our diets and improved health even though the exact causal mechanism cannot be described in detail, as yet. The study goes on to point out:
“Soluble types of fiber form gels in the stomach and small intestine, slowing the rate of nutrient absorption and slowing gastric emptying, which increases satiety and influences the overall amount of food eaten, resulting in lower levels of overweight. Bacterial fermentation of resistant starch and soluble fibers in the large intestine produces short-chain fatty acids which inhibit cholesterol synthesis by the liver, consequently lowering serum levels.”
The meta study took evidence from studies around the World. The results were consistent; the more naturalÂ fiber in peoples diets the lower the chances of suffering from a stroke. The cumulated results produced a clearly reducing stroke risk correlated to fiber in the diet.
Seven grams per day will give you a relative risk of 0.95, this is 95% (CI 0.88 to 0.98). But the researchers do not recommend overdosing on fiber. A very few of the participants in all of the studies had a fiber intake above 25 grams:
Â “so extrapolation of risk at higher intakes should be undertaken with caution. All of the pooled studies did, however, include adjustment for potentially important confounding variables such as age, body mass index, blood pressure or history of hypertension, smoking status, alcohol intake, physical activity, and sex (where applicable), and also a variety of other health and lifestyle variables.”
- Source: Â Threapleton et al, 2013.