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Psyllium helps type 2 diabetes mellitus patients

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Sunday Aug 18, 2013 (foodconsumer.org) -- A new study suggests that psyllium can help type 2 diabetes mellitus patients who have already been treated with a restricted diet and a sulfonylurea.

This double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study shows 3.4 grams of psyllium prior to dinner and breakfast can reduce the fasting blood glucose in type 2 diabetes mellitus  patients who were being treated.
For the study, 37 patients at a mean age of 62 years with type 2 diabetes mellitus were randomly assigned to receive one of the three treatments, placebo, 3.4 grams of psyllium prior to breakfast and dinner, and 6.8 grams of psyllium prior to breakfast and dinner for 12 weeks. Initially patients were not treated for eight weeks to establish the baseline.  During the 20 weeks, patients visited clinics nine times.  

Both doses of psyllium lowered fasting blood glucose significantly at 4, 8 and 12 weeks of treatment, compared with placebo.  

At the dose of 6.8 grams, psyllium even significantly lowered HbA1c, a stable indicator for the severity of type 2 diabetes mellitus, significantly at 8 weeks compared with placebo.  At both doses, psyllium significantly lowered HbA1c significantly at 12 weeks, compared with placebo.

The researchers concluded "The improvement in glycemic control observed with psyllium in T2DM (type 2 diabetes mellitus) patients was above that already conferred by a restricted diet (all patients) and a stable dose of a sulfonylurea (81.1% of patients). These data support that psyllium is an effective co-therapy for improving glycemic control in patients being treated for T2DM."

The study was conducted by Johnson W. McRorieb from Quantitative Sciences, Procter & Gamble in Mason, OH and colleagues and published recently in Bioactive Carbohydrates and Dietary Fibre.

A study published in Annals of Pharmacotherapy shows a similar result, that is, patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus taking 10 grams of psyllium per day lowered both fasting blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin. (Reporting by David Liu)

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