Health benefits of fiber reviewed

Americans don’t meet the current fiber recommendations. The daily fiber intake by average Americans is 14 to 15 grams.

This is less than the American Dietetic Association recommended of 20 to 35 grams for adults, 25 grams for girls ages 9 through 18 years and 31 to 38 grams for boys ages 9 through 18. The American Heart Association recommends 25 to 30 g daily.

This and more can be found in a review of the health benefits of fiber just published in U.S. Pharmacist by Dr. Steven Pray from the College of Pharmacy, Southwestern Oklahoma State University

The Institute for Cancer Prevention has simplified fiber intake guidelines for Americans called the “age + 5” rule. Children 2 years and older should consume a number of grams of fiber each day that equals their age plus 5 additional grams. Thus, a 7-year-old should consume 12 g of fiber daily for optimal health. This rule should be applied throughout adolescence until the person reaches age 20, when the adult guidelines should be used.

Lots of supplements are available, but to start, here’s a table of the fiber content of a variety of foods.

7/26/06 18:55 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.