High intake of dietary fiber is associated with better kidney function and reduced inflammation among community-dwelling elderly men, according to a Swedish study.

Researchers calculated dietary fiber intake from 7-day dietary records kept by 1,110 men aged 70-71 years who participated in the Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Adult Men. They calculated eGFR using serum cystatin C concentrations.

After adjusting for potential confounders, each 10 g/day increase in dietary fiber intake was independently associated with a statistically significant 2.6 mL/min/1.73 m2 increment in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), a team led by Juan Jesús Carrero, MD, of Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, reported online ahead of print in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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In addition, compared with individuals in the lowest quartile of dietary fiber intake (14.5 g/day or less), those in the highest quartile (greater than 19.2 g/day) had a statistically significant 35% decreased odds of having elevated C-reaction protein (greater than 3 mg/L), a systemic marker of inflammation.

Higher fiber intake was associated with lower all-cause and cancer-related mortality in subjects with kidney dysfunction (eGFR below 60 mL/min/1.73 m2).

In these individuals, each 10 g/day increase in fiber intake was associated with a statistically significant 42% decreased risk of death from any cause and 75% decreased risk of cancer-related death. The researchers observed no statistically significant association between fiber intake and cardiovascular-related death.