Is dietary fiber the key to anti-aging?

Is dietary fiber the key to anti-aging?

Is dietary fiber the key to anti-aging?

Dietary fiber is a substance found in plants, seeds, legumes and other natural foods. It is a very important part of the diet, as it is known to help digestive health and help with weight control. New research shows that fiber health benefits could extend beyond these benefits. Is dietary fiber the key to anti-aging?

The new study from Westmead Institute followed older adults for 10 years. These participants ate diets rich in fiber like breads, cereal, and fruits.

Lead author Bamini Gopinath, an associate professor in the Institute’s Centre for Vision Research, explained that the study is the first to take a look at the association between carb intake and successful aging.

Out of all the variables that we looked at, fiber intake – which is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest – had the strongest influence,” she said.

The study abstract explained the following methods and results:

Methods: A total of 1,609 adults aged 49 years and older who were free of cancer, coronary artery disease, and stroke at baseline were followed for 10 years. Dietary data were collected using a semiquantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire. Successful aging status was determined through interviewer-administered questionnaire at each visit and was defined as the absence of disability, depressive symptoms, cognitive impairment, respiratory symptoms, and chronic diseases (eg, cancer and coronary artery disease).

Results: In all, 249 (15.5%) participants had aged successfully 10 years later. Dietary GI, GL, and carbohydrate intake were not significantly associated with successful aging. However, participants in the highest versus lowest (reference group) quartile of total fiber intake had greater odds of aging successfully than suboptimal aging, multivariable-adjusted odds ratio (OR), 1.79 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.13–2.84). Those who remained consistently below the median in consumption of fiber from breads/cereal and fruit compared with the rest of cohort were less likely to age successfully, OR 0.53 (95% CI 0.34–0.84) and OR 0.64 (95% CI 0.44–0.95), respectively.

The authors concluded: “Consumption of dietary fiber from breads/cereals and fruits independently influenced the likelihood of aging successfully over 10 years. These findings suggest that increasing intake of fiber-rich foods could be a successful strategy in reaching old age disease free and fully functional.”

So is dietary fiber the key to anti-aging? While it certainly won’t slow down time or signs of aging, it could really work wonders for getting you to old age without disease or disability.

The new study was published in The Journals of Gerontology.

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REFERENCES:
1. “Could Dietary Fiber Be Key to Successful Aging?Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, n.d. Web. 08 June 2016.
2. “Association Between Carbohydrate Nutrition and Successful Aging Over 10 Years.” The Journals of Gerontology. The Gerontological Society of America, n.d. Web. 8 June 2016.
3. “Dietary Fiber Intake Tied to Successful Aging, Research Reveals.” The Gerontological Society of America. The Gerontological Society of America, n.d. Web. 8 June 2016.
4. “Fiber: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 08 June 2016.

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