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Fiber on a winning streak

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.

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