Vegetarian diet protects against diverticular disease

A UK study has shown that vegetarians are a third less likely to suffer from diverticular disease than meat eaters. A high dietary fibre intake was also significantly associated with a lower risk of the disease. The findings are based on data from a large cohort of 47,033 health-conscious British adults who were taking part in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Of those recruited, 15,459 reported consuming a vegetarian diet. After a follow-up of 11.6 years, there were 812 reported cases of diverticular disease. Vegetarians were found to have a 31% lower risk of diverticular disease compared with meat eaters. There was also an inverse association with dietary fibre intake; participants consuming most fibre (more than 25g/day) had a 41% lower risk compared with those who consumed the least (less than 14 g/day). (Diet and risk of diverticular disease in Oxford cohort of European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. BMJ. 2011 Jul 19;343:d4131. doi: 10.1136/bmj.d4131).


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