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Got type 2 diabetes mellitus? Eat lots of dietary fiber!

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By David Liu, PHD

Tuesday Jan 17, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- Eating lots of dietary fiber can help people with type 2 diabetes mellitus, according to a study reported in the Jan 2012 issue of Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

The study led by R.E. Post of Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston and colleagues found that dietary fiber can both reduce fasting blood glucose and improve glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients.

Glycated hemoglobin (sometimes called HbA1c) is a hemoglobin that is measured primarily to determine the average plasma glucose concentration over prolonged periods of time.

The authors say previous studies did not come to the same conclusion as to how dietary fiber would affect the condition of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The authors analysed data from 15 randomized relevant studies on dietary fiber and improvement of type 2 diabetes mellitus recorded from Jan 1980 through Dec 2010.

The researchers found "The overall mean difference of fiber versus placebo was a reduction of fasting blood glucose of 0.85 mmol/L. Dietary fiber as an intervention also had an effect on HbA1c over placebo, with an overall mean difference of a decrease in HbA1c of 0.26%."

They concluded fiber supplementation or increased intake of fiber in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients can reduce fasting blood glucose and HbA1c.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus refers to a disease in which the individual can produce insulin, but he cannot effectively use insulin to utilize blood sugar, resulting in high glucose in the blood.

The U.S. government estimates that 26 millions of Americans may live with type 2 diabetes mellitus. 

The disease can result in a number of serious complications including heart disease, high blood pressure, mental health, foot complications, eye complications and skin complications, according to American Diabetes Association.

Modern medicine provides no cure for type 2 diabetes, but the disease can be treated.  

Many lifestyle parameters can be modified to help the disease.  

What can be enlisted to help type 2 diabetes mellitus include vitamin C, weight loss, rheumatoid arthritis drug, vitamin d, drinking coffee and tea, eating fish, green vegetables, dairy products, breastfeeding, psyllium fiber, wheat bran, soy products, mediterranean diet, physical activity and healthy diet, and brown rice

What may boost risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus include statins, obesity, western diet, night shift work, flame retardants, sugar-sweetened drinks, low serum potassium, red meat, inhaled steroid, and processed meat.

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