Eating fiber allows people to live longer in people who have suffered a myocardial infarction (heart attack) according to a study by Harvard researchers. Individuals who ate foods very high in fiber saw their risk of heart attack and stroke decrease by approximately 10% compared to those who ingested little fiber. Fiber from cereals has shown a more significant risk reduction than other foods such as fruit.
A significant proportion of people with myocardial infarction survive, but to decrease the risk mortality that follows higher than in the general population, the person will have to adapt and often modify his lifestyle by respecting certain strict rules in addition to drugs often prescribed by the doctor.
Dietary fibers are known to have very favorable effects on health with a reduction in bad cholesterol and blood pressure, a favorable action on blood sugar and satiety which helps to control weight.
The eating habits of 93 people who have had a heart attack studied under the microscope
This study on dietary fiber intake was carried out by the Department of Epidemiology and Nutrition at the Harvard School of P Public Health in Boston (USA). Harvard researchers carried out a cohort study by analyzing data from men and women from two large databases very often used in studies of this type by the Harvard institution, the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.
In setting up these databases, the researchers asked each individual by questionnaire to provide information on their lifestyle, such as diet, illnesses, etc. . For this study, the researchers examined more than 4 000 people who survived a myocardial infarction and analyzed their fiber consumption before and after the infarction.
In detail, the researchers divided these participants into 5 groups classified by the amount of fiber ingested per day. The results showed that people belonging to the one-fifth of individuals consuming the highest amount of fiber saw the risk of death drop by % during the 9 years following the heart attack compared to those of the one-fifth of the group consuming the least fiber.
The best sources of fibre
The researchers were thus able to observe a clear correlation between the reduction in mortality in patients who had suffered a myocardial infarction and the consumption of fiber but were unable to show a cause and effect relationship.
In addition, the researchers noticed that the more fiber a person consumed, the lower the mortality rate. Each increase of 10 gr of fiber per day led to a decrease of 15% of mortality.
Men should consume 38 gr of fiber per day and women 25 gr per day. For their study, Harvard scientists have separated foods rich in fiber into 3 families: cereals (eg wheat), fruits and vegetables. The effects on the reduction of mortality have mainly been observed with cereals, particularly those eaten at breakfast such as wholemeal bread.
This research work should allow the implementation of more specific on the change of lifestyle to follow after a myocardial infarction, in addition to the medicinal measures and other methods already taken into account. We know that people who have suffered a myocardial infarction have a higher risk of mortality than people who have never been affected by this heart attack.
Cardiologists point out that the prevention of diseases are based on a set of factors such as regular exercise, the fight against stress, the reduction of alcohol consumption and smoking cessation or the adoption of a healthy and varied diet.
Dietary fiber intake and mortality among survivors of myocardial infarction: prospective cohort study. British Medical Journal (BMJ)
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