Posts Tagged ‘CHD’

Increased Consumption of Dietary Fiber is associated with a significantly Lower Risk of CVD and CHD

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

LEEDS, UK — Aside from keeping you “regular,” eating fiber also appears to be good for your heart. A new review has shown that increased consumption of dietary fiber is associated with a significantly lower risk of CVD and CHD.

For every 7 g of dietary fiber eaten daily—which can be achieved by eating two to four servings of fruits and vegetables or a serving of whole grains plus a portion of beans or lentils—the risks of CVD and CHD were each lowered by 9%, according to a new meta-analysis published December 19, 2013 in BMJ [1].

“Lower risk of cardiovascular disease was also seen with greater intakes of insoluble, cereal, fruit, and vegetable fiber,” write Diane Threapleton (University of Leeds, UK), a PhD student, and colleagues. “In addition, reduced risk for CHD was associated with greater intake of insoluble fiber and fiber from cereal or vegetable food.”

A cardioprotective effect of dietary fiber was first suggested in the 1970s, and numerous studies have attempted to investigate the link, including the effects of fiber on CV risk factors.

In the present meta-analysis, Threapleton et al analyzed 22 cohort studies that reported total dietary-fiber intake, fiber subtypes, and fiber from food sources and CVD or CHD events. CVD events included CHD along with fatal and incident stroke. Five studies suggested that each 7-g/day increase in insoluble fiber lowered the risk of CVD and CHD by 18%, respectively. Fiber consumption from cereals lowered the risk of CVD and CHD, as did fiber from vegetables. Fiber sourced from fruit lowered the risk of CVD only.

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Putting these results in perspective, Dr Robert Baron(University of California, San Francisco) gets straight to the point in his editorial, “Eat More Fiber”[2]. Although the study is limited by the potential for confounding—there is the possibility of an association between high fiber intake and other healthy behaviors—”clinicians should enthusiastically and skilfully recommend that patients consume more dietary fiber,” writes Baron. This includes a mix of soluble and insoluble fiber and fiber from multiple food sources, he adds.

Although the evidence for recommending higher fiber intake comes from “imperfect evidence,” including observational studies and expert opinion, the updated meta-analysis by Threapleton et al increases confidence in the recommendation, writes Baron.

The study was funded by the UK Department of Health. Threapleton reports that her PhD studentship receives funding from Kellogg’s. Baron reported no relevant financial disclosures.


  1. Threapleton DE, Greenwood DC, Evans CE, et al. Dietary fiber intake and risk of cardiovascular disease: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2013; 347:f6879. Available at: http://www.bmj.com.
  2. Baron RB. Eat more fiber. BMJ 2013; 347:f7401. Available at: http://www.bmj.com.




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Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

Walking Versus Running for Hypertension, Cholesterol, and Diabetes Mellitus Risk Reduction

  1. Paul T. Williams,
  2. Paul D. Thompson


From the Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA (P.T.W.); and Division of Cardiology, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT (P.D.T.).

Correspondence to Paul T. Williams, PhD, Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Donner 464, 1 Cycloton Rd, Berkeley, CA 94720. E-mailptwilliams@lbl.gov

Objective—To test whether equivalent energy expenditure by moderate-intensity (eg, walking) and vigorous-intensity exercise (eg, running) provides equivalent health benefits.

Approach and Results—We used the National Runners’ (n=33 060) and Walkers’ (n=15 945) Health Study cohorts to examine the effect of differences in exercise mode and thereby exercise intensity on coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors. Baseline expenditure (metabolic equivant hours per day [METh/d]) was compared with self-reported, physician-diagnosed incident hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, and CHD during 6.2 years follow-up. Running significantly decreased the risks for incident hypertension by 4.2% (P<10−7), hypercholesterolemia by 4.3% (P<10−14), diabetes mellitus by 12.1% (P<10−5), and CHD by 4.5% per METh/d (P=0.05). The corresponding reductions for walking were 7.2% (P<10−7), 7.0% (P<10−8), 12.3% (P<10−4), and 9.3% (P=0.01). Relative to <1.8 METh/d, the risk reductions for 1.8 to 3.6, 3.6 to 5.4, 5.4 to 7.2, and ≥7.2 METh/d were as follows: (1) 10.0%, 17.7%, 25.1%, and 34.9% from running and 14.0%, 23.8%, 21.8%, and 38.3% from walking for hypercholesterolemia; (2) 19.7%, 19.4%, 26.8%, and 39.8% from running and 14.7%, 19.1%, 23.6%, and 13.3% from walking for hypertension; and (3) 43.5%, 44.1%, 47.7%, and 68.2% from running, and 34.1%, 44.2% and 23.6% from walking for diabetes mellitus (walking >5.4 METh/d excluded for too few cases). The risk reductions were not significantly different for running than walking for diabetes mellitus (P=0.94), hypercholesterolemia (P=0.06), or CHD (P=0.26), and only marginally greater for walking than running for hypercholesterolemia (P=0.04).

Conclusions—Equivalent energy expenditures by moderate (walking) and vigorous (running) exercise produced similar risk reductions for hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, and possibly CHD.


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