This evidence has already led to government support for a health claim on high-fibre foods in some countries but growing research is likely to back the use of such a claim in further markets.
Researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined the association between dietary fibre and serum concentration of C-reactive protein (CRP), a possible predictor of cardiovascular events, using data from 3920 participants aged 20 or older in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2000.
Reporting in this month's Journal of Nutrition (134:1181-1185), the researchers report that dietary fibre intake was inversely associated with serum CRP concentration. The risk of increased CRP concentration was almost halved for those in the highest quintile of fibre intake compared with the lowest.
Excluding participants with cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, or cancer did not alter the results, they write.
"Our findings indicate that fibre intake is independently associated with serum CRP concentration and support the recommendation of a diet with a high fibre content," conclude the scientists.