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Fiber-Rich Diet Recommended for Diabetics

Doctors, dietitians, and other medical practitioners found that dietary fiber is effective in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and are now recommending it as an important component of the diet of a person with diabetes. As published in Diabetes Care, lower inflammatory markers and liver fat deposition were seen with increased dietary fiber.

“Several prospective cohort studies have observed a protective effect of dietary fiber on risk of type 2 diabetes,” S. Goya Wannamethee, PhD, from University College Medical School in London, United Kingdom, and colleagues, explained. “However, this has not been observed in all studies and the biological mechanisms by which dietary fiber may be beneficial for diabetes are unclear. Several studies have shown inverse associations between dietary fiber and markers of inflammation, insulin sensitivity, and hepatic function, factors which have been linked to the development of diabetes in other studies.”

This study aims to establish clearly the link between dietary fiber and the risk for type 2 diabetes in older men as well as the role of hepatic and inflammatory markers. The cohort study recruited 3,428 nondiabetic men. After seven years, the researchers already noted 162 cases of type 2 diabetes.

When energy intake and total intake of dietary fiber were modified it was found that fiber was inversely linked with the inflammatory markers C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, as well as with tissue plasminogen activator and gamma glutamyl transferase. The researchers further adjusted these markers until the increased risk for diabetes seen with low dietary fiber was attenuated.

“Dietary fiber is associated with reduced diabetes risk which may be partly explained by inflammatory markers and hepatic fat deposition,” the study authors write. “We cannot establish the nature of the association between fiber intake and hepatic function and the inflammatory process.”

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