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Dietary fibre intake lowers risk of CVD, diabetes, cancer, and mortality

02 Aug 2020

Higher consumption of dietary fibres (DF), particularly soluble (SF) and insoluble fibres (IF) from fruits, reduces the risk of several chronic diseases and mortality, suggests a study.

The investigators sought to examine the association of intake of DFs of different types (total DF, SF, and IF) and from various sources (eg, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, potatoes, and tubers) with the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), cancer, type 2 diabetes (T2D), and mortality in the large-scale NutriNet-Santé prospective cohort (2009–2019).

A total of 107,377 participants were included. Usual DF intake was estimated from validated repeated 24-h dietary records over the first 2 years following inclusion in the cohort. Multiadjusted Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess the associations between sex-specific quintiles of DF intake and the risk of chronic diseases and mortality.

T2D risk significantly decreased with increased intake of total DFs (hazard ratio [HR] for quintile 5 vs quintile 1, 0.59, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.42–0.82; ptrend<0.001), SFs (HR, 0.77, 95 percent CI, 0.56–1.08; ptrend=0.02), and IFs (HR, 0.69, 95 percent CI, 0.50–0.96; ptrend=0.004).

Total DF intake correlated with a lower risk of breast cancer (HR, 0.79, 95 percent CI, 0.54–1.13; ptrend=0.04), while DF intake from fruits led to a reduced risk of several chronic diseases. In addition, SFs correlated with a reduced risk of CVD (HR, 0.80, 95 percent CI, 0.66–0.98; ptrend=0.01) and colorectal cancer (HR, 0.41, 95 percent CI, 0.21–0.79; ptrend=0.01), while IFs correlated with lower mortality from cancer or CVDs (HR, 0.65, 95 percent CI, 0.45–0.94; ptrend=0.02).

“Further studies are needed, involving different types and sources of fibre,” the investigators said. “Meanwhile, more emphasis should be put on DFs in public health nutrition policies, as DF intake remains below the recommended levels in many countries.”

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