Low-fiber Diet Puts Adolescents at Higher Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

04 Jun 2012 --- The study of 559 adolescents age 14-18 from Augusta, Ga., showed they consumed on average about one-third of the daily recommended amount of fiber, said Dr. Norman Pollock, bone biologist at the Medical College of Georgia and the Institute of Public and Preventive Health at Georgia Health Sciences University.

4 June 2012 --- Adolescents who don't eat enough fiber tend to have bigger bellies and higher levels of inflammatory factors in their blood, both major risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, researchers report.

The study of 559 adolescents age 14-18 from Augusta, Ga., showed they consumed on average about one-third of the daily recommended amount of fiber, said Dr. Norman Pollock, bone biologist at the Medical College of Georgia and the Institute of Public and Preventive Health at Georgia Health Sciences University.

"The simple message is adolescents need to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains," Pollock said. "We need to push recommendations to increase fiber intake." He and Dr. Samip Parikh, an internal medicine resident at GHS Health System, are co-first authors of the study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Only about 1 percent of the young participants consumed the recommended daily intake of 28 grams for females and 38 grams for males. The study appears the first to correlate dietary fiber intake with inflammatory markers in adolescents.

Better understanding the relationships and risks of diet, inactivity and obesity in children and adolescents is particularly critical at a time when about 1 in 3 is overweight or obese, Parikh said. That's nearly triple the rate since 1963, according to the American Heart Association.

Low-fiber consumers in the study were more likely to have more of the visceral fat found in and around major organs in their abdominal cavity. They also tended to have higher levels of inflammatory factors, such as immune cells called cytokines, as well as lower levels of protective adiponection, a protein secreted by fat that helps the body use glucose and fight inflammation. Interestingly, adiponectin levels tend to drop when fat becomes excessive and obesity is generally considered a chronic inflammatory state.

Exactly how fiber helps stave off some of these unhealthy consequences is not completely clear, Parikh said. Hypotheses include increased bulk in the stool causing digested food to spend less time in the gastrointestinal tract and the ability of fiber to improve insulin sensitivity, potentially reducing visceral adiposity. More indirectly, fiber tends to speed satiety, potentially decreasing total food and caloric consumption, Parikh said. It may also help absorb and eliminate inflammatory factors.

While belly fat and high inflammatory factors are inexorably linked to bad consequences such as heart disease and often occur together, one did not directly cause the other in this instance, Pollock noted. He was co-first author earlier this year of a study on the same group of adolescents that showed high-fructose consumption correlated with higher blood pressure, fasting glucose, insulin resistance and inflammatory factors as well as lower levels of cardiovascular protectors such as such as HDL cholesterol and adiponectin. These dangerous associations were exacerbated by belly fat. "There is some other mechanism (for increased inflammatory factors associated with low-fiber intake)," Pollock noted.

The scientists acknowledge getting adolescents to eat more fiber can be tough, not only because of their penchant for processed foods but because side effects can include intestinal gas, bloating and diarrhea. They are pursuing funding to develop more palatable forms of fiber that could be sprinkled, for example, on the low-fiber foods most adolescents regularly consume.

Study participants were part of a larger study assessing the relationship between activity and diet. The scientists noted that low-fiber intake also was linked to higher levels of overall body fat but only in females. A high-fiber diet seemed to reduce general body fat in males.

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

Prebiotics in infant formula could improve learning and memory, says new study

18 Jan 2018 --- New mothers often hear the slogan “breast milk is best” and are encouraged to offer breast milk to their newborn babies and that’s because it contains natural sources of prebiotics, the small indigestible fiber molecules that promote the growth of good bacteria in the infant’s gut. However, many families find breastfeeding or completely impossible in some cases and turn to infant formulas. And now, thanks to research from the University of Illinois, infant formulas are getting even closer to the real thing. In a recent study, scientists foudn that prebiotics included in infant formula may enhance memory and exploratory behavior.

Nutrition & Health News

Fast food found to make the immune system more aggressive in the long term

12 Jan 2018 --- The immune system reacts similarly to a high fat and high-calorie diet as to a bacterial infection, according to a study by the University of Bonn. What is particularly disturbing is that unhealthy food seems to make the body's defenses more aggressive in the long term. Even long after switching to a healthy diet, inflammation towards innate immune stimulation is more pronounced, the researchers found. These long-term changes may be involved in the development of arteriosclerosis and diabetes, diseases linked to Western diet consumption. The results are to be published in the journal Cell.

Food Ingredients News

Avena Foods and Best Cooking Pulses form partnership

09 Jan 2018 --- Avena Foods Limited of Regina, Saskatchewan and Best Cooking Pulses, Inc. (BCP) of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba have announced a new partnership, effective January 2018. Avena is a leading supplier of gluten-free oats to the North American market. Since 2008, Avena has been providing its customers and consumers with consistent, superior quality, certified gluten-free oats – guaranteed to be free from wheat, barley, and rye.

Nutrition & Health News

Superfoods: Fermented foods tipped as top 2018 trend by dieticians

08 Jan 2018 --- Fermented foods – such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut – are to be the no. 1 superfood for 2018, underlining that consumers will be “going with their gut” in the coming year by seeking out foods that improve gut health and overall well-being. This is according to the Pollock Communications and Today's Dietitian's "What's Trending in Nutrition" national survey which gauges the opinions of 2,050 registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) on what consumers are thinking and eating. 

Nutrition & Health News

DASH ranked best diet overall by US News and World Report

04 Jan 2018 --- US News and World Report has for the eighth consecutive year ranked the National Institutes of Health-developed DASH Diet “best overall” diet among nearly 40 it reviewed. The announcement came just as new research suggests that combining DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), with a low-sodium diet has the potential to lower blood pressure as well as or better than many anti-hypertension medications.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/Low-fiber-Diet-Puts-Adolescents-at-Higher-Risk-of-Cardiovascular-Disease.html