Study reveals how much fiber we should consume to prevent disease 0

A new meta-analysis examines 40 years’ worth of research in an attempt to find out the ideal amount of fiber that we should consume to prevent chronic disease and premature mortality.

Researchers and public health organizations have long hailed the benefits of eating fiber, but how much fiber should we consume, exactly?

This question has prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to commission a new study. The results appear in the journal The Lancet.

The new research aimed to help develop new guidelines for dietary fiber consumption, as well as reveal which carbs protect the most against noncommunicable diseases and can stave off weight gain.

Noncommunicable diseases are also called chronic diseases. They typically last for a long time and progress slowly. According to WHO, there are “four main types of noncommunicable diseases:” cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes.

Professor Jim Mann, of the University of Otago, in New Zealand, is the corresponding author of the study, and Andrew Reynolds, a postdoctoral research fellow at Otago’s Dunedin School of Medicine, is the first author of the paper.

Prof. Mann explains the motivation for the study, saying, “Previous reviews and meta-analyses have usually examined a single indicator of carbohydrate quality and a limited number of diseases, so it has not been possible to establish which foods to recommend for protecting against a range of conditions.”

To find out, the researchers performed a meta-analysis of observational studies and clinical trials.

 

Daily intake of 25–29 grams of fibre is ideal

Reynolds and colleagues examined the data included in 185 observational studies — amounting to 135 million person-years — and 58 clinical trials which recruited over 4,600 people in total. The studies analyzed took place over almost 40 years.

The scientists investigated the incidence of certain chronic diseases, as well as the rate of premature deaths resulting from them.

These conditions were: coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, and a range of obesity-related cancers, such as breast cancer, endometrial cancer, oesophagal cancer, and prostate cancer.

Overall, the research found that people who consume the most fiber in their diet are 15–30 percent less likely to die prematurely from any cause or a cardiovascular condition, compared with those who eat the least fiber.

Consuming foods rich in fiber correlated with a 16–24 percent lower incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer.

Fiber-rich foods include whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and pulses, such as peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas.

The analysis also revealed that the amount of fiber that people should consume daily to gain these health benefits is 25–29 grams (g). By comparison, adults in the United States consume 15 g of fiber daily, on average.

The authors also suggest that consuming more than 29 g of fiber per day may yield even more health benefits.

However, they do caution that, while the study in itself did not find any adverse health effects of consuming fiber, eating too much of it may be damaging for people with insufficient iron or minerals.

Eating large amounts of whole grains can further deplete the body of iron, explain the researchers.

Finally, the clinical trials included in the study also revealed that consuming more fiber correlates strongly with lower weight and lower cholesterol levels.

Why fiber is so good for you

Prof. Mann comments on the significance of the findings, saying, “The health benefits of fiber are supported by over 100 years of research into its chemistry, physical properties, physiology, and effects on metabolism.”

“Fiber-rich whole foods that require chewing and retain much of their structure in the gut increase satiety and help weight control and can favorably influence lipid and glucose levels,” he adds.

“The breakdown of fiber in the large bowel by the resident bacteria has additional wide-ranging effects including protection from colorectal cancer.”

Our findings provide convincing evidence for nutrition guidelines to focus on increasing dietary fiber and on replacing refined grains with whole grains. This reduces incidence risk and mortality from a broad range of important diseases.”

source:medicalnewstoday

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Girls Iron Folic Acid Tablets Supplementation (GIFT) programme kick starts Eastern Region 0

The Girls Iron Folic Acid Tablets Supplementation (GIFT) targeted at reducing high anaemia prevalence in the young has been launched in Koforidua.

Under the implementation about 54,000 girls between the ages of 10-19 in schools and out of school in the Eastern Region, would receive a folic acid tablet supplementation routinely to be administered under supervision to reduce anaemia.

At an orientation meeting with stakeholders prior to the launching, Dr Mrs Alberta Britwum-Nyarko, the Eastern Regional Director of Health Services, said statistics show that two out of every five women in the country have anaemia or low blood levels resulting in fatigues, headaches and even death in pregnant women.

She said in young adolescents the immediate effect of “this anaemia or low blood level condition results in poor memory and not doing well in school, whiles the long-term effect results in complications in pregnancies such as premature or stillbirths and even death during delivery”.

Dr Britwum-Nyarko said in order to reduce the high prevalence of anaemia among women and girls, the Ghana Health Service in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service (GES) has initiated the GIFT programme to help prevent the dire consequences of anaemia in the society.

Mr Bismarck Sarkodie, the regional Nutrition Officer of the GHS, said research shows that it is important for every woman to prepare her nutritious status very well before pregnancy and this can be done by eating food that contains all the minerals, especially iron.

He said the GIFT programme is, therefore, an intervention to prepare adolescent girls adequately as far as their nutritional status was concerned.

Again, he said some girls lose a lot of blood during menstruation and this also means the loss of a lot of iron which needs to be replaced and appealed to all stakeholders to use every opportunity to educate the public especially mothers to embrace the programme.

Later, Ms Golda Asante, Director of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) on behalf of the Eastern Regional Minister, launched the programme at the Presbyterian Cluster of Schools where folic acid tablets were administered to the school children.

 

 

Source: GNA

Special Education Is What Children with Congenital Heart Defects Needs- NGO 0

A project meant to provide exceptional services for kids with inborn Heart Defects (CHDs) before and after surgery has been launched with an appeal on educational establishments to pay special attention to the wants of such children.

Dubbed “Restore a Child’s Heart Project”, the project additionally seeks to advocate for quality and affordable health care for school going kids with such disabilities.
It is being funded by the Centre of Hope global Missions, United Kingdom in collaboration with Dominion Leaders Foundation (DLF), Ghana as the implementers.
The aim is to forestall CHDs, manage its effects and save the lives of Ghanaian and Jamaican kids with such disabilities globally.
Dr Martha Anang, Chief executive officer (CEO) of DLF and executive director of the project, said it’s incumbent on the education sector to plot ideas to make the classroom lively for such kids because research has proven that children with all types of CHD have poorer academic outcomes compared to their peers.

Even those who have early surgery for CHD are known to have impaired development which eventually turns out to have negative effects on their performances and achievements, Dr Anang said.

She said every child has a unique potential but this could not be fully developed if the child did not have good health.

Dr Anan said it was for this reason that the project is being introduced to help eliminate all forms of illnesses that affect school children and hinder their academic performances.

Reverend Dr Nordine Campbell, Chief executive officer (CEO) and founder of the Centre of Hope for global Missions, said that research conducted in 2016, reported that CHDs represent the second major reason behind cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality among young Africans.
However, she said its management was limited in Africa because of the inadequate socio-economic environments coupled with insufficient technical platforms and human resource to handle the incapacity.

Dr Campbell said the project would specifically identify school children with all types of CHDs and provide them with exceptional services needed to help improve their health conditions for better academic performance.

She said a Heart Restore Centre will eventually be built in the Central Region of Ghana to rehabilitate children with CHDs.

Dr Campbell expressed worry about the absence of reliable data on CHDs which made it difficult to estimate the global burden of these conditions on the African continent.

An estimated one million children and about 1.4 million adults are living with CHDs in the United States (US) alone while the British Heart Foundation, Health Promotion Research Group in 2013, reported that one in every 180 babies in the UK are born with a CHD.

“If developed countries like the US and UK have such high prevalence levels of CHDs then one can imagine the situation in Africa”, she lamented and called on other philanthropic   organisations and individuals to help save humanity, particularly, the poor little children in Africa where access to medical assistance in this direction might be non-existent.

Dr Ernest Asiedu, Head of Quality Management Unit at the Ministry of Health, who chaired the program, pledged the Ministry’s support for the project.

An Electrocardiogram (ECG) was done for about 140 children by doctors from the Doctors In Service (DIS) Clinic in Cape Coast to check their heart condition.

Dr Anang was inducted as a Health and Education Ambassador for the project worldwide by the Centre of Hope for Global missions while Dr Campbell was also made an ambassador by International Independence Interdenominational Christian Churches and Ministries (IFIICCM), a US-based organisation.

 

Source: GNA

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