In recent years, a decline in both cardiovascular disease (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD) has been seen in some European countries and the United States. However, it still remains a significant issue accounting for almost half (48%) and a third (34%) of all deaths in Europe and the United States.
Many studies have examined the relationship between dietary fiber or fiber-rich foods and CVD risk factors.
Researchers at the University of Leeds reviewed literature published since 1990 in healthy populations concerning dietary fiber intake and CVD risk. They took data from six electronic databases. Cohorts of data were used from the US, Europe, Japan and Australia.
They looked at the following fiber intake: total, insoluble (whole grains, potato skins etc), soluble (legumes, nuts, oats, barley etc), cereal, fruit, vegetable and other sources.
Results from analyses of total, insoluble, fruit and vegetable fiber intake showed that the likelihood of a CVD or CHD event steadily lowers with increasing intake.