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Wheat Bran Helps Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Patients

James P Boyle and colleagues at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted that by 2050, nearly one third of Americans will live with type 2 diabetes mellitus if measures are not taken to curb the epidemic.

The CDC says on its website that in 2007, an estimated 7.8 percent of the U.S. population or about 20 million Americans lived with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The authors of the study explained in Population Health Metrics that the projected increase in the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus is due largely to the aging population, increasing numbers of members of higher risk minority groups in the population and longer life-span for people with the disease.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a disease that in many cases can be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle. Even those who have acquired the disease may follow a healthy diet to control their condition.

S. Haripriya and S. Premakumari from Pondicherry University and Avinashilingam University for Women in India conducted a small trial and proved that eating wheat bran help type 2 diabetes mellitus patients better control their condition.

The trial involved 30 patients aged 45 to 50. Half were assigned 20 grams of wheat bran, which consisted of 42.8 percent dietary fiber, each day for a 6-month period. And another group of 15 diabetics were not given any bran supplements.

For the trial, blood samples were collected at baseline and at the end of the trial to analyse biochemical factors including serum fasting glucose levels, postprandial glucose levels, and glycosylated hemoglobin levels or HbA1C in all the type 2 diabetes mellitus patients.

In the group of diabetes mellitus patients receiving wheat bran supplements, compared to the levels at baseline, the fasting glucose levels at the end of the trial were reduced by an average of 22.8 mg/ml. Controls did not experience any significant change.

Those on the bran supplement also reduced serum postprandial glucose levels by 39.80 mg/ml and the glycosylated hemoglobin or HbA1C by nearly 2 percent while controls did not have any significant change.

HbA1C is considered the most reliable index of long term diabetes control.  Blood sugar tends to fluctuate from day to day and even from hour to hour while HbA1C reflects a true average index of glucose control for a period of 2 to 3 months.

Both groups of diabetes mellitus patients at baseline had 8.39 to 8.45 percent, a level of HbA1C considered by the definition of American Diabetic Association under unsatisfactory control.

After the supplementation trial, diabetes mellitus patients reduced the index by 1.96 percent, pushing the index down to 6.41 percent, a level which is considered under good control.

David Liu

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