Washington D.C.: Fiber-rich foods are known to lower blood sugar, cut cholesterol, prevent constipation and even ward off colon cancer. Now, a new research links intake of fiber in right amount to lower risk of developing lung disease.
Analyzing data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, researchers report that among adults in the top quartile of fiber intake 68.3 percent had normal lung function, compared to 50.1 percent in the bottom quartile and 14. 8 percent had airway restriction, compared to 29.8 percent in the bottom quartile.
In two important breathing tests, those with the highest fiber intake also performed significantly better than those with the lowest intake. Those in the top quartile had a greater lung capacity (FVC) and could exhale more air in one second (FEV1) than those in the lowest quartile.
Lead author Corrine Hanson said that lung disease is an important public health problem, so it's important to identify modifiable risk factors for prevention. However, beyond smoking very few preventative strategies have been identified. Increasing fiber intake may be a practical and effective way for people to have an impact on their risk of lung disease.
If further studies confirm the findings of this report, Hanson believes that public health campaigns may one day "target diet and fiber as safe and inexpensive ways of preventing lung disease."
The study is published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.