A prospective study of dietary fiber types and symptomatic diverticular disease in men

J Nutr. 1998 Apr;128(4):714-9. doi: 10.1093/jn/128.4.714.


To examine prospectively dietary fiber calculated from food composition values based on analytic techniques and specific dietary fiber types in relation to risk of diverticular disease, we analyzed data from a prospective cohort of 43,881 U.S. male health professionals 40-75 y of age at base line; subjects were free of diagnosed diverticular disease, colon or rectal polyps, ulcerative colitis and cancer. The insoluble component of fiber was inversely associated with risk of diverticular disease relative risk (RR) = 0. 63, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.44-0.91, P for trend = 0.02, and this association was particularly strong for cellulose (RR = 0.52, 95% CI, 0.36-0.75, P for trend = 0.002). The association between diverticular disease and total dietary fiber intake calculated from the AOACstandards method was not appreciably different from results using the Southgate or Englyst method [for AOAC method, RR = 0.60, 95% CI, 0.41-0.87; for Southgate method, RR = 0.61, 95% CI, 0.42-0. 88; for Englyst method, RR = 0.60, 95% CI, 0.42-0.87, for the highest quintiles]. Our findings provide evidence for the hypothesis that a diet high in dietary fiber decreases the risk of diverticular disease, and this result was not sensitive to the use of different analytic techniques to define dietary fiber. Our findings suggest that the insoluble component of fiber was significantly associated with a decreased risk of diverticular disease, and this inverse association was particularly strong for cellulose.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fiber / pharmacology
  • Diverticulum / prevention & control*
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prospective Studies