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A new study aims to assess if a diet high in fibers has any impact on health. Dietary fiber is the indigestible portion of food derived from plants. Both soluble fiber (broken down and fermented in the colon) and insoluble fiber (dissolvable in water) are prebiotic and is assumed to be good for overall health, with previous research Nondigestible oligo- and polysaccharides (dietary fiber): their physiology and role in human health and food having shown that fiber reduces the risk of colon cancer.

Current recommendations of fiber intake for U.S. adults include 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams for men.

Reduced Mortality Risk?

It this study the researchers used data from the European prospective study on 452,717 men and woman participants. They then looked for any correlation between a diet high in fiber, its possible association with total mortality and cause-specific mortality

The data analysis shows that those with total fiber intake greater than 28.5 grams per day had an 18% reduced risk of death compared to those consuming less than 16.4 grams per day. With a 25% reduction in smoking-related cancers, a 17% reduction in circulatory diseases, and a 71% reduced the risk of digestive disease, with every 10-gram increase in fiber intake resulting in a 10% reduction in risk.

The researchers mention that “These findings add to and extend the evidence that increased fiber intake may exert healthy effects and decrease the risk of all-cause mortality:” and that “one should be encouraged to increase his/her dietary fiber intake to potentially decrease the risk of premature death.”

Concluding that a diet high in fiber decreases the risks of mortality. So eat your whole grain, vegetables, and fruits and be healthy!


Previous studies have shown that high fiber intake is associated with lower mortality. However, little is known about the association of dietary fiber with specific causes of death other than cardiovascular disease (CVD).


The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between fiber intake, mortality, and cause-specific mortality in a large European prospective study of 452,717 men and women.


HRs and 95% CIs were estimated by using Cox proportional hazards models, stratified by age, sex, and center and adjusted for education, smoking, alcohol consumption, BMI, physical activity, total energy intake, and, in women, ever use of menopausal hormone therapy.


During a mean follow-up of 12.7 y, a total of 23,582 deaths were recorded. Fiber intake was inversely associated with total mortality (HRper 10-g/d increase: 0.90; 95% CI: 0.88, 0.92); with mortality from circulatory (HRper 10-g/d increase: 0.90 and 0.88 for men and women, respectively), digestive (HR: 0.61 and 0.64), respiratory (HR: 0.77 and 0.62), and non-CVD noncancer inflammatory (HR: 0.85 and 0.80) diseases; and with smoking-related cancers (HR: 0.86 and 0.89) but not with non–smoking-related cancers (HR: 1.05 and 0.97). The associations were more evident for fiber from cereals and vegetables than from fruit. The associations were similar across BMI and physical activity categories but were stronger in smokers and participants who consumed >18 g alcohol/d.


Higher fiber intake is associated with lower mortality, particularly from circulatory, digestive, and non-CVD noncancer inflammatory diseases. Our results support current recommendations of high dietary fiber intake for health maintenance.

Fiber intake and total and cause-specific mortality in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort