Friday, March 31, 2006

Fiber cuts CRP

A fiber-rich diet may help control levels of a blood protein linked to an increased risk of heart disease, new research suggests.

In a study of 524 healthy adults, investigators found that those with the highest fiber intake had lower blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) than those who ate the least fiber. CRP is a marker of ongoing inflammation in the body, and consistently high levels of this protein have been identified in previous studies as a risk factor for future heart disease.

The new findings support the general recommendation that adults get 20 to 35 grams of fiber per day, in the form of fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. Study participants with the highest fiber intake typically got about 22 grams per day

Compared with subjects who ate the least fiber, those who ate the most were 63 percent less likely to have an elevated CRP number.

"This study," the researchers write, "suggests that a diet high in fiber may play a role in reducing inflammation and, thus, the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes."

What else lowers CRP?

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