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The health benefits of fibre

ELIZABETH K. POGGE
Midwestern University College of Pharmacy-Glendale, 19555 North 59th Avenue, Glendale, Arizona 85308, USA

Abstract

The average adult does not consume enough fibre in their diet. Fibre potentially could have a role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disease, weight control, and diabetes. The most common side effects of fibre, gastrointestinal upset and flatulence, can be prevented by increasing fibre slowing and drinking plenty of fluids. It is important for healthcare professionals to be able to counsel patients on the importance of fibre in their diet and be able to make recommendations for increasing fibre consumption.


INTRODUCTION

Fibre is a non-digestible carbohydrate that has been shown to have a role in cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal health, weight control, and diabetes (1). The European Food Safety Authority recommends 25 grams/day for both men and women based on the fact that this is the amount needed to keep the bowels functioning correctly (2). The United States (US) Dietary Guidelines recommends 25 grams per day for women but recommends a higher amount of 38 grams per day for men (14 grams per 1000 kcal) (3). This is based on the mean intake observed to achieve the lowest risk of coronary heart disease. Studies have shown that the average consumption for Americans is below this recommendation at approximately 15 grams per day (4).
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