A higher intake of dietary fibre could be associated with lower mortality, according to new research.
The study found that the lower mortality is particulary linked with circulatory, digestive and those particular inflammatory diseases not associated with cancer or cardiovascular disease.
Commenting on the research, Dr Carrie Ruxton from the Breakfast Cereal Information service notes: “The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between fibre intake, mortality, and cause-specific mortality in a large European prospective study of 452,717 men and women. Dietary questionnaires were used to assess fibre intake and the fibre content of food sources was estimated in the laboratory. Deaths and causes of death were recorded.
“During an average follow-up time of 12.7 years, a total of 23,582 deaths were recorded. Fibre intake from cereal was inversely associated with total mortality, and also inversely associated with mortality from circulatory disease and digestive disease. These findings are generally in line with previous study findings which have also shown a reduced risk of mortality with fibre rich diets, including wholegrain cereal. Overall, the results of the current study support current recommendations for dietary fibre intake in the UK.
“breakfast cereals provide a great source of cereal fibre and should as a result, be strongly recommended as a means of achieving those essential daily dietary fibre intakes we should all be eating. However, many people in the UK fail to consume enough fibre on a daily basis and this is becoming a great health concern.”
Dr Ruxton adds: “Studies have shown that eating breakfast cereal in the morning is associated with much higher intakes of micronutrients, fibre, protein and carbohydrate, and lower intakes of fat, saturated fat, and sugar, compared with skipping breakfast or eating non-cereal breakfasts. Breakfast cereals are also an excellent source of calcium as they provide one of the few meal occasions when people consume milk. In fact, breakfast cereals account for 41% total milk consumption in adults and 42% in children in the UK.
“All in all, breakfast cereals provide great nutrition and are a good way to start the day. Breakfast skipping has become all too common in this country with one in five adults consuming no solid food at breakfast time. Eating breakfast cereals daily is an important meal occasion providing wholegrain and fibre sources as well as those vital daily nutrients.”