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Adherence to a Healthy Lifestyle is Associated With a Lower Risk of Diverticulitis among Men.

​Adoption of healthy lifestyle habits, such as consuming of diets low in meat and high in fiber, exercising regularly, maintenance of healthy weight, and avoidance of cigarette smoking, may help protect individuals from diverticulitis.

This study examined how lifestyle habits affect diverticulitis risk. A team of researchers from Harvard Medical School tracked the diets, physical activity, body mass index (BMI), and smoking habits of 51,529 men recruited from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. The diverticulitis hazard ratios of all the participants in this study were also ascertained.

The research team observed that men who ate less red meat, consumed more fiber, exercise regularly, maintained healthy weight, and did not smoke had low risk of developing diverticulitis compared to men who consumed more red meat and less fiber, did not exercise, were overweight and obese, and smoked cigarettes. According to this study, imbibing healthy lifestyle habits can decrease diverticulitis risk by 50%. Data from this study suggest that men who adopt healthy lifestyle habits may be less vulnerable to diverticulitis.

Research Summary Information

  • 2017
  • Liu PH, Cao Y, Keeley BR, Tam I, Wu K, Strate LL, Giovannucci EL, Chan AT.
  • Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri, USA. Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, Washington, USA. Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
  • Yes, Free full text of study was found:
  • No. Source of funding disclosure not found
  • No. Potential conflicts disclosure not found
Diet and risk of diverticular disease in Oxford co...
Diet and diverticular disease in Oxford cohort of ...

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Comments (7)

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  1. Sue Desjardins

Great article/reference that supports the importance of fibre and limiting red meat consumption, for once again, protecting gut health! I don't think that people realize how detrimental red meat can be for the bowel. One may believe that because the meat that they are consuming is organic and/or grass fed, that it is fine to consume in moderate amounts, and even healthy. I'm glad to see more literature that supports the argument against red meat consumption.

Sue

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  1. Deborah

Red meat is only part of the issue. There is also a substantial amount of info pointing at a whole foods plant-based diet from many angles being healthiest for our intestinal health. :-) https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/microbiome/

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  1. Deborah

Here are a bunch more peer-reviewed papers on the specific issue of diverticulitis & diet, pointing at whole foods plant-based diet in general as significantly helpful. https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/diverticulitis/

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  1. Linda Carney MD

Thank you, Sue and Deborah for your comments.

Yes, so many reasons that our gut microbiome and our over-all health is optimized by avoiding animal protein, and ingesting high-fiber, low-fat unprocessed plant foods.

Here is another reference I like:
https://www.drcarney.com/blog/entry/gut-microbial-dependent-trimethylamine-n-oxide-tmao-pathway-contributes-to-both-development-of-renal-insufficiency-and-mortality-risk-in-chronic-kidney-disease

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  1. Sue Desjardins

Great! Thank you Deborah and Dr. Carney, I will share these references with my colleagues and family.

Sue

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  1. Sean Carney

And, feel free to share any other studies that you run across. :-)

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  1. Sue Desjardins    Sean Carney

Most definitely. Thank you.

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