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Fiber Promotes Heart Health
Fiber. We know we should get more to help with colon health and weight management. But Americans are far short of the US National Fiber Council’s recommended 32 grams of fiber per day. New research suggests that it’s a far more important part of a healthy diet than we know. Following a high-fiber diet not only helps with weight management, and may lead to lower cholesterol levels, it’s good for the heart.
It turns out that the more fiber you eat, the less likely you are to have high blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) – a protein that has been recognized as a predictor of future cardiovascular disease and diabetes. CRP is an “acute phase protein,” a type of protein that is made in the liver in response to inflammation in the body. Doctors have known for several years that the higher the CRP levels a person has, the higher the risk of developing heart disease.
But there are some things that can affect high CRP levels and reduce them and reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease. These things include improving the diet and quitting smoking. Now, researchers from University of Massachusetts have released a report that says that increasing dietary fiber intake from 14 grams daily (which is about average for most men) to 22 grams daily reduces the risk of high CRP levels by 82 percent. “Fiber appears to decrease arterial inflammation, lowering CRP levels, “ says study author Yunsheng MA, M.D., Ph.D.
Getting that added fiber might be easier than you think. With so many different sources available, you are bound to find one that works for you. Sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, and legumes, whole and sprouted grain breads and cereals, and even supplements. Although changing the diet to include a sudden jump in fiber intake might cause some initial problems such as bloating and cramping, fiber is a very safe supplement, and the body will quickly adjust.
- Men’s Health. “Nutrition Bulletin: Bulk Up Your Diet.” July/August 2006. Page 50.
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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