Fiber Not Always Good For You?

A bit of surprising news finds that a low-fiber diet may help protect against a common digestive problem.

About half of Americans older than the age of 60 have diverticulosis. It causes little pouches to bulge outward from the lining of the colon. This can lead to cramping and bloating and the pouches can develop painful inflammation.

But people with diverticulosis often don’t have symptoms. In a new study, researchers included more than 2,100 adults who had a colonoscopy. None had symptoms of diverticulosis and the volunteers answered questions about the foods they normally ate.

Surprisingly, the people who ate a lot of fiber were 30% more likely to have diverticulosis than those who ate the least. This runs contrary to the general belief that a low-fiber diet causes this condition.

Experts have also thought that constipation may cause the colon to develop these bulging pouches, but the study found that people with fewer weekly bowel movements had a lower risk.

According to the lead researcher, these finding shouldn’t prompt people to change their diet just yet, but experts may want to go back to the drawing board to learn more about the causes of diverticulosis.

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