|STAFFIER, KARA - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University|
|CHUNG, MEI - Tufts University|
|SAWICKI, CALEIGH - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University|
|LYLE, BARBARA - International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI)|
|WANG, DING DING - Tufts University|
|ROBERTS, SUSAN - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University|
|MCKEOWN, NICOLA - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University|
Submitted to: PLOS ONE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/22/2016
Publication Date: 6/27/2016
Citation: Staffier, K.L., Chung, M., Sawicki, C., Lyle, B.J., Wang, D., Roberts, S., McKeown, N.M. 2016. Development of a publicly available, comprehensive database of fiber and health outcomes: rationale and methods. PLoS One. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156961.
Interpretive Summary: Dietary fiber is a substance found in plant foods (fruits, vegetables, and grains) that the human body cannot digest or absorb. Dietary fiber has been linked to many health benefits such as maintaining a healthy weight and lowering the risk of diabetes and heart disease. There are many different types of fiber, many of which are being isolated and added back to packaged foods. It is therefore important to know which types and sources of dietary fiber contribute to which health benefits. To help centralize the vast amount of research being done in this field, we developed a database containing key information from published studies on dietary fiber and specific health outcomes. The health outcomes we focused on were chosen by experts in the field of fiber research. To create this database, we conducted a search of published articles using specific criteria that included a wide variety of keywords for dietary fiber and measures of health. Only controlled human studies that were testing the effect of consuming fiber on the health risk factor were selected for inclusion in this database. For each article that was included, key information on the study subjects, the fiber studied, and the health risk factors were collected and entered into a web-based system (the Systematic Review Data Repository or SRDR (trademark.)) The initial search included studies published from 1946 to 2015 but is in the process of being updated annually. This database, which is available here (http://ilsina.org/our-work/research-tools-open-data/dietary-fiber-database/) presents researchers, policy-makers, and industry a way to easily summarize and search the extensive work on this topic.
Technical Abstract: Background: Dietary fiber is a broad category of compounds historically defined as partially or completely indigestible plant-based carbohydrates and lignin with, more recently, the additional criteria that fibers incorporated into foods as additives should demonstrate functional human health outcomes to receive a fiber classification. Thousands of research studies have been published examining fibers and health outcomes. Objectives: (1) Develop a database listing studies testing fiber and physiological health outcomes identified by experts at the Ninth Vahouny Conference; (2) Use evidence mapping methodology to summarize this body of literature. This paper summarizes the rationale, methodology, and resulting database. The database will help both scientists and policy-makers to evaluate evidence linking specific fibers with physiological health outcomes, and identify missing information. Methods: To build this database, we conducted a systematic literature search for human intervention studies published in English from 1946 to May 2015. Our search strategy included a broad definition of fiber search terms, as well as search terms for nine physiological health outcomes identified at the Ninth Vahouny Fiber Symposium. Abstracts were screened using a priori defined eligibility criteria and a low threshold for inclusion to minimize the likelihood of rejecting articles of interest. Publications then were reviewed in full text, applying additional a priori defined exclusion criteria. The database was built and published on the Systematic Review Data Repository (SRDR (trademark)), a web-based, publicly available application. Conclusions: A fiber database was created. This resource will reduce the unnecessary replication of effort in conducting systematic reviews by serving as both a central database archiving PICO (population, intervention, comparator, outcome) data on published studies and as a searchable tool through which this data can be extracted and updated.