Washington: High fibre
diets, surprisingly, may not protect gut health, but they do
heighten your chances of developing diverticulosis.
The condition is characterised by small bulging pouches forming on
the inner lining of large intestine, trapping bits of stool and
Sympoms include abdominal cramping, constipation and diarrhoea,
linked with of difficulty in passing stools. More serious
complications include collection of pus in the pelvis, colon
obstruction and rectal bleeding.
"It looks like we may have been wrong, for decades, about why
diverticula actually form," said Anne Peery, fellow in
gastroenterology and hepatology, University of North Carolina's
Chapel Hill School of Medicine, who led the study.
The findings, which involved more than 2,000 people, reveal that a
fibrous diet actually raised the risk of developing diverticulosis,
which affects about a third of adults over 60 years in the US
alone, the journal Gastroenterology reports.
In fact, those with the lowest fibre intake were found to be 30
percent less likely to develop diverticula than those with the
highest fibre intake, according to a North Carolina statement.
A high-fibre diet, comprising leafy vegetables, fresh and dry
fruits, grains, beans, nuts and seeds, etc., had been recommended
by doctors since the late 1960s, to keep diverticulosis at bay.
But this assumption has seldom been backed by studies.
The study found no links between diverticulosis and physical
inactivity, intake of fat, or intake of red meat. The disease's
causes remain unknown, but the researchers believe gut flora may
play a role.