Lead author of the study, Professor Kazumasa Yamagishi said: “Dementia is a dangerous disease that often requires long-term care. “We were interested in some recent studies showing that fiber may play a preventive role. We investigated this using data collected from thousands of adults in Japan. for a major study that began in the 1980s.”
Participants completed surveys that assessed their diets between 1985 and 1999. Overall, they were healthy and were between the ages of 40 and 64. They were then given followed from 1999 to 2020, and it was noted whether they developed dementia requiring care.
The researchers divided data from a total of 3,739 adults, into four groups according to the amount of fiber in their diets. They found that the groups that ate the most fiber had a lower risk of dementia.
The team also examined whether there were differences for two main types of fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber.
- Soluble fiber, found in foods like oats and legumes, is important for the beneficial bacteria that live in the gut as well as for other health benefits.
- Insoluble fiber, found in whole grains, vegetables and some other foods, is known to be important for gut health. The researchers found that the link between fiber intake and dementia was stronger for soluble fiber.
The team has some idea of what might underlie the link between fiber and dementia risk.
“The mechanisms are currently unknown, but may be related to interactions that take place between the gut and the brain,” said Professor Yamagishi.
“One possibility is that soluble fiber regulates the composition of gut bacteria. This ingredient may influence neuroinflammation, which plays a role in the onset of dementia. It is also possible that physical Dietary fiber may reduce other risk factors for dementia, such as body weight, blood pressure, lipids and glucose levels. early stages and it is important to confirm associations in other populations.”
In many countries today, such as the US and Australia, many people consume less fiber than nutritionists recommend. By encouraging healthy eating habits with lots of fiber, it is possible to reduce the incidence of dementia.