Does Nut, Corn, and Popcorn Consumption Increase the Risk for Diverticular Disease?

Albert B. Lowenfels, MD


November 03, 2008

Nut, Corn, and Popcorn Consumption and the Incidence of Diverticular Disease

Strate LL, Liu YL, Syngal S
JAMA. 2008;300:907-914


To determine the role of dietary items in the development of diverticulitis, the authors performed a prospective study of almost 50,000 US health professionals aged 40-75 years. The subjects recorded intake of various food items at study onset, including foods that have been suspected to be associated with diverticular disease. During the 18 years of follow-up, there were 1184 recorded episodes of diverticulitis or diverticular bleeding. After adjusting for other risk factors, there was no association between the consumption of nuts, corn, or popcorn and the risk for diverticulitis (P > .50.)


Diverticular disease is common in many countries, afflicting as many as one third of all patients with diverticulosis. Nuts, corn, and popcorn have long been assumed to be a potential cause of diverticular disease; physicians often advise patients to exclude these high-fiber items from their diet after an attack of diverticulitis. The evidence from this study showed that the opposite was true: increased consumption of any of these items significantly decreased the risk for diverticular disease.



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