Fiber for Health and Longevity: 6 Benefits According to Studies

UltimateHuman Team Dec 27, 2022
14 People Read
fiber longevity
Table of Contents
  1. What is Fiber?
  2. So, How Might Fiber Contribute to Health and Longevity?
    1. 1. A Decrease in All-Cause Mortality
    2. 2. Weight Loss
    3. 3. Reduced Risk of Cancer
    4. 4. Fighting Heart Disease
    5. 5. Lowering Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
    6. 6. Lowered Risk of Stroke
  3. Conclusion

When people talk about fiber, it's usually within the context of digestive health...

But what if there's even more to the story about this important part of our diet?

Well, according to clinical research — there is.

Food Eating GIF

It turns out that fiber may be an essential ingredient to avoiding disease & living a longer, healthier life.

Before we dive into the specifics of the research, first...

What is Fiber?

According to the Harvard School of Public Health - fiber is simply a type of carbohydrate that the body can't digest.

What sets fiber apart is its inability to be broken down into sugar molecules...

Instead, it moves its way through the body without being absorbed.

Some examples of foods high in fiber include:

  • Chia seeds

  • Flaxseeds

  • Raspberries

  • Black beans

  • Artichokes

  • Avocados

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Pears

So, How Might Fiber Contribute to Health and Longevity?

New research in this field of study is exciting...

And it may lead to an increase in the prioritization of fiber in dietary suggestions.

Here's a few health benefits it's been associated with:

1. A Decrease in All-Cause Mortality

Fiber may help reduce the chance of death for by any cause.

One systemic review looked at multiple studies and found that higher dietary fiber intake was associated with lower risk of all-cause mortality.

As we'll expand on more below, the findings of this review also included a decreased risk for cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

2. Weight Loss

In its study called "Dietary fiber and weight regulation"

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reviewed 20+ clinical trials and found that an increase of dietary fiber intake for adults was associated with both weight loss & weight maintenance.

More research is needed to further understand how fiber and weight are related...

But given how a normal weight level contributes to overall health, this study is promising for those in need of help in their weight loss strategy.

3. Reduced Risk of Cancer

Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in the USA.

Now, it seems fiber may be associated with a lower risk of cancer:

One review of 13 cohort studies found that higher fiber intake was associated with a decreased risk of colorectal cancer.

And one meta-analysis found the same result for the risk of breast cancer.

4. Fighting Heart Disease

It's the #1 killer in America...

According to the CDC, heart disease accounted for 1 in every 5 deaths in the year 2020.

That's why it's important to find ways to fight back.

Luckily, fiber is promising in this area, too:

In the all-cause mortality review listed above - both cardiovascular disease & ischemic heart disease were found less often alongside higher fiber consumption.

Another study also discovered higher dietary fiber intake was associated with a significantly lower risk of coronary heart disease.

5. Lowering Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

About 1 in 10 Americans have type 2 diabetes.

This disease mostly affects those aged 45 and above...

So it's good to know how increase your chances of avoiding this disease while you're younger.

One study did an umbrella review of all fiber + type 2 diabetes studies from 1980 to 2017.

The review suggested — you guessed it — that those consuming the highest amounts of dietary fiber, especially cereal fiber, may benefit from a reduction in the incidence of developing type 2 diabetes.

6. Lowered Risk of Stroke

Stroke is also a risk factor for adults that can cause disability or death.

One systematic review and meta-analysis discovered fiber's role in a lower risk of first stroke.

With some additional conditions, overall findings supported recommendations to increase intake of total dietary fiber.

Conclusion

As with most things related to health and diet, it's good to talk to your doctor or healthcare professional about what may be right for you...

And as is often the case with clinical research, the conclusions found in the studies published here may need more support from continued research...

But it seems that adding fiber to your diet could contribute to lower risk of disease, and therefore, a longer life.

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Table of Contents
  1. What is Fiber?
  2. So, How Might Fiber Contribute to Health and Longevity?
    1. 1. A Decrease in All-Cause Mortality
    2. 2. Weight Loss
    3. 3. Reduced Risk of Cancer
    4. 4. Fighting Heart Disease
    5. 5. Lowering Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
    6. 6. Lowered Risk of Stroke
  3. Conclusion