Fiber on a winning streak

Published: September, 2011

Results from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study reported in 2011 show that high intake of fiber is associated with a lower risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke. That's a little ho-hum: other studies have come to the same conclusion. More novel was the finding that linked a high-fiber diet to a lower risk of dying from infectious and respiratory diseases. And fiber from grain sources was associated with a lower risk of dying from any cause during the study's nine years of follow-up.

A few years ago, fiber seemed like another false hope after it fizzled in some important clinical trials as a colon cancer preventive. The NIH-AARP study also came to an ambiguous conclusion about fiber and cancer: high intake was protective in men but not in women. But aside from the cancer findings, fiber has been on a bit of a roll lately.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »