A high-fiber, vegetarian-style diet may reduce risk of developing diverticular disease, a new study suggests.
A high-fiber, vegetarian-style diet may reduce the risk of developing diverticular disease, a new study suggests.
Diverticular disease is an umbrella term for diverticulosis, which is small pouches in the colon, and diverticulitis, which occurs when these pouches become inflamed or infected. Symptoms of diverticulitis include painful abdominal cramps, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea, and can last anywhere from a few hours to a week or more.
In the study, vegetarians were more than 30% less likely to develop diverticular disease when compared to their counterparts who ate meat.
The study appears in an online edition of BMJ.
Researchers from the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford in the U.K. compared the risk of developing diverticular disease among 47,033 adults, including 15,459 who were vegetarians.
After 11.6 years, 812 people developed diverticular disease, resulting in 806 hospital admissions and six deaths. Vegetarians were less likely than meat eaters to develop diverticular disease, the study showed. What’s more, people who had a diet rich in fiber (about 25 grams a day) had a lower risk of being admitted to the hospital and/or dying from diverticular disease, compared with people who ate less than 14 grams of fiber a day.
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