Whole Grains

Fiber & Dementia


This week’s paper is another one from my top article finder – Dr Peter Brukner. It’s another one on fiber – this time coupled with dementia. The paper was written by Yamagishi et al and it was called “Dietary fiber intake and risk of incident disabling dementia: the Circulatory Risk in Communities Study” (Ref 1).

Fiber intrigues me. It is constantly used as a rationale for eating carbohydrate. We are told to get several grams of it a day and yet we can’t digest it. It seems to be another classic healthy person confounder. Advantaged people are more likely to consume Jerusalem artichokes, dried apricots and broccoli, which will establish an association between fiber and health, but it should not be assumed that the fiber caused the health.

The background to this study was given in the first point in the abstract of the paper. “It has been hypothesized that dietary fiber intake has a beneficial impact on prevention of dementia, but the epidemiological evidence is scant.” Hence the authors sought to examine whether dietary fiber intake is inversely associated with the risk of dementia (i.e., more fiber is associated with less dementia). Dementia for this study was defined as disabling dementia, which is dementia that requires care.

One of the references in the introduction to this paper was an article involving Yamagishi called “Dietary intake of beans and risk of disabling dementia”, so this is his area of interest.

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