Fibers Are True Anti-Aging Assets?
A new study conducted more than 10 years ago reports that people who eat the most fiber are the ones who age best.
Non-digestible carbohydrates, dietary fiber would have many beneficial effects on health (cardiovascular risk, cancer, respiratory diseases, etc.). Yet we don’t consume enough: only 10 g per day while the recommendation is 25 g. They are abundantly found in raw vegetable products: legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans), vegetables, whole grains, fruits and nuts.In this study, the authors used data from 1600 healthy Australians aged 49 years on average. Follow-up lasted 10 years. According to the Australian research team, “among all the variables we studied, dietary fiber intake was the one that had the strongest influence on successful aging.” People consuming the most fiber had Thus 2 times more likely to “age well” than the rest of the population, a very strong association for a simple dietary variable.
Scientists define successful aging as: “reaching an advanced age without disease, physically fit, with no symptoms of depression, senility, respiratory problems or chronic illness.” Those who “aged well” were therefore at lower risk for hypertension, diabetes, dementia, depression, or functional disability.
This is an observational study, so we can not establish a causal link. Especially since previous studies have often reported that those who consume the most fiber are on average thinner, sportier, smoke less and consume less alcohol and red meat, and even if the protective effect of the fibers persists even after taking Account of all these factors (2).
These results also echo a study published in May 2016 that found a beneficial association between total fiber consumption from cereals and all-cause mortality (3).
While waiting for more solid evidence of the anti-aging virtues of the fibers, there is nothing to lose, and everything to gain, to consume more (except in the case of irritable bowel syndrome).
(1) Bamini Gopinath et al. “Association Between Carbohydrate Nutrition and Successful Aging Over 10 Years.” The Journals of Gerontology, Series A.
(2) Yikyung Park et al. “Dietary Fiber Intake and Mortality in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study.”Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(12):1061-1068. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.18.
(3) Hajishafiee M, Saneei P, Benisi-Kohansal S, Esmaillzadeh A. “Cereal fibre intake and risk of mortality from all causes, CVD, cancer and inflammatory diseases: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.” Br J Nutr. 2016 May 19:1-10. Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, May 2016 DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glw091.