Dietary Fiber Helps Protect Small Intestine Health

In a study published in the journal Gastroenterology, researchers conducted a large population study to determine the relationship between intake of dietary fiber and the incidence of small intestinal cancer. Dietary information was gathered from 293,703 men and 198,618 women who participated in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study.

After eight years of follow-up it was determined that dietary fiber intake was associated with a lower risk of small intestinal cancer. The group with the highest intake of fiber from grains had a 49% lower risk of small intestine cancer compared to the group with the lowest intake. Likewise, the group that consumed the most whole-grain foods had a 41% lower incidence of the disease compared to the group eating the least whole-grain foods.

Since similar dietary factors and results have been seen in studies involving cancer of the large intestine, it is likely that grain fiber and whole grain foods may protect against lower gastrointestinal cancers.

Gastroenterology. 2008 Oct; 135(4):1163-7