High Fiber Diet and Better Lungs Function

An adequate intakes of fiber each day may help middle aged people breathe easier and appears to benefit non-smokers alike. American researchers analyzed information on dietary intake and the result of lung function test from 11,897 men and women, between 44 and 66 years old. Nearly 15 percent of the study participants had Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). COPD includes conditions like emphysema and chronic bronchitis, which obstruct airflow to the lungs. among men and women, those with highest daily fiber intake had better lung function and were less likely to have COPD. Though smoking is the major risk factor for poor lung function and COPD, the researchers found the highest dietary fiber intake protected both smokers and nonsmokers similarly. After separating participants by their average total fiber intake per day, it was found that those in the highest fifth of fiber intake (27 grams) had significantly better lung function than those in the lowest fifth (9 grams). The researchers report similar association from cereal and fruit fiber, but not from vegetable fiber. Moreover, the beneficial links remained even after accounting for other factors that may impact lung function such as dietary intake of vitamins C, D And E; Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; or cured meat; as well as weight, diabetes status, ethnicity, age, gender, and smoking status. Adequate daily total fiber intake ranges from 30 to 38 grams for middle-aged men and from 21 to 25 grams for middle aged women. This study provides the first known evidence that dietary fiber is independently associated with better lung function and reduced prevalence of COPD.

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