(HealthDay News) – High dietary fiber intake was not associated with a lower prevalence of diverticulosis. In fact, people who ate a high-fiber diet and those having 15 or more bowel movements per week had a higher, not lower, prevalence of diverticulosis, according to research published in the February issue of Gastroenterology.

Anne F. Peery, M.D., of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study involving 2,104 participants aged 30 to 80 years for whom colonoscopy results and data on diet and physical activity were available.

The researchers found that older patients had a higher prevalence of diverticulosis than younger individuals. People with the highest intake of total fiber, fiber from grains, and soluble and insoluble fiber had the highest risk of diverticulosis. Patients who had 15 or more bowel movements per week had a 70% increased risk of diverticulosis. Neither dietary fat or red meat intake nor level of physical activity were associated with an increased risk of diverticulosis.

“In conclusion, we found that a high-fiber diet and more frequent bowel movements were associated with an increased rather than a decreased prevalence of diverticulosis. Our data demonstrated no association between fat, red meat, physical activity, and diverticulosis,” the authors write.

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