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PEARLS- Practical Evidence About Real Life Situations

Limited evidence for benefits of dietary fibre in cardiovascular disease

Wednesday 08 June 2016, 3:36PM

PEARLS No. 510, June 2016, written by Brian R McAvoy.

Clinical question
How effective is dietary fibre in the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD)?

Bottom Line
The pooled analyses for CVD risk factors suggested beneficial reductions in total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and reductions in diastolic blood pressure, with increased fibre intake. There were no obvious differences by type of intervention (via supplements or provision of food/ advice to increase fibre consumption) or fibre type (soluble or insoluble), but the number of studies included in each of these analyses was small. Adverse events, where reported, appeared to mostly reflect mild to moderate gastrointestinal side effects and these were generally reported more in the fibre intervention groups than the control groups.

Although the number of trials meeting the inclusion criteria was relatively large, few studies had an intervention duration of longer than 12 weeks and samples sizes were generally small, so none reported on the primary outcomes, major CVD events.

The prevention of CVD is a key public health priority. A number of dietary factors have been associated with modifying CVD risk factors. One such factor is dietary fibre, which may have a beneficial association with CVD risk factors.

Cochrane Systematic Review
Hartley L et al. Dietary fibre for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Reviews, 2016, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD011472.DOI: 10.1002/14651858. CD011472.pub2. This review contains 23 studies involving 1,513 participants.

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