HealthDay News — Cereal fiber intake is associated with lower levels of various inflammatory markers and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a study published online March 31 in JAMA Network Open.

Rupak Shivakoti, Ph.D., from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, and colleagues assessed baseline (1989 to 1990) dietary intake among 4,125 older adults (65 years or older). Inflammatory markers were assessed at baseline, while incident CVD was evaluated through June 2015.

The researchers found that an increase in total fiber intake of 5 g/day was associated with significantly lower concentrations of C-reactive protein (adjusted mean difference, −0.05) and interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (adjusted mean difference, −0.04), but with higher concentrations of soluble CD163 (adjusted mean difference, 0.05). Only cereal fiber was consistently associated with lower inflammation, as well as lower CVD incidence (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.90; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.81 to 1.00). For the association of cereal fiber and CVD, the proportion mediated by inflammatory markers ranged from 1.5 percent for interleukin 18 to 14.2 percent for C-reactive protein and 16.1 percent for their primary principal component.


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“Higher intakes of cereal fiber, but not vegetable or fruit fiber, were associated with lower levels of inflammation in older adults,” the authors write. “Cereal fiber may have a role in attempts to reduce systemic inflammation, and this finding will need to be studied further.”

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