In a recent series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses published in the Lancet, researchers investigated the role of carbohydrate quality and health, and evaluated quantitative recommendations for intakes of dietary fiber, on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO).
The researches evaluated prospective studies and randomized controlled trials on carbohydrate quality and non-communicable diseases. Data from 185 prospective studies and 58 clinical trials with 4635 participants were included in the analyses. A 15 to 30 percent decrease in all-cause and cardiovascular related mortality, and incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke incidence and mortality, type 2 diabetes, and colorectal cancer was suggested from observational data comparing the highest dietary fiber consumers with the lowest.
Clinical trials showed lower bodyweight, blood pressure, and total cholesterol when comparing higher with lower intakes of dietary fiber. Greatest risk reduction was found for a daily intake of dietary fiber between 25 and 29 grams and dose-response data suggested that higher intakes of dietary fiber could confer even greater benefits. Similar findings for whole grain intake were observed. However, smaller or no risk reductions were found with the observational data when diets of low and high glycemic index or load were compared.
The researchers conclude that the findings ‘associated with relatively high intakes of dietary fiber and whole grains were complementary, and striking dose-response evidence indicates that the relationships to several non-communicable diseases could be causal. Implementation of recommendations to increase dietary fiber intake and to replace refined grains with whole grains is expected to benefit human health.’
Read the full study here:
Carbohydrate quality and human health: a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses