Dietary Fiber


Diverticulosis, defined simply as the presence in the large intestine (colon) of small saccular outpouchings, termed diverticula, is extremely common in “developed” countries and increases dramatically with age (Image 1 below). It affects approximately 5% of the population under 45 years of age and increases to almost 80% in those older than age 85 (1). Diverticula develop most commonly in the descending (“left-sided”) and sigmoid colon, however, there is geographic variability. In Asia and Africa, the ascending (“right-sided”) colon is more commonly involved, but the overall rate is much lower, at approximately 0.2%. Despite the prevalence of diverticulosis, about 70% of all people remain asymptomatic throughout their lifetime; 5-15% develop complications of diverticular bleeding, and 15-25% develop diverticulitis and associated complications.

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