Wednesday, May 27, 2015

In the News: Increasing Fiber Can Lower Diabetes Risk!

I have posted about Fiber a few times as part my "In the News" series, namely as it relates to reducing cardiovascular risk as well as lowering overall mortality, and now comes  more interesting research to take notice of....looking at the relationship fiber intake and reduction Type 2 Diabetes!

In the article, published in Diabetologia, the authors evaluated the association between intake of dietary fiber and Type 2 diabetes using data from the the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-InterAct study and in a meta-analysis of prospective studies.  The EPIC-InterAct study is the world's largest study of new-onset type 2 diabetes, and is coordinated by the MRC Epidemiology Unit at Cambridge University. EPIC-InterAct includes 12,403 verified incident cases of type 2 diabetes. The results revealed that in the (EPIC)-InterAct study, 
cereal fiber had the strongest inverse association- those with the highest levels of cereal and vegetable fiber consumption had a 19% and 16% lower risk of developing diabetes respectively, compared with those with the lowest consumption of these types of fiber. Fruit fiber, however, was not associated with a reduction in diabetes risk. Cereals accounted for 38% of the total fiber intake, and were the main source of fiber in all the countries involved in the study, except France, where vegetables were the main source.
In addition, the meta-analysis involved pooled the data from this EPIC-InterAct study with those from 18 other independent studies (eight in the United States, four in Europe, three in Australia, and three in Asia). It included over 41,000 new-onset cases of type 2 diabetes and found that the risk of diabetes fell by 9% for each 10g/day increase in total fiber intake, and by 25% for each 10g/day increase in cereal fiber intake. They did not find a statistically significant relationship between increasing either fruit or vegetable fiber and reducing diabetes risk.
So the authors concluded that adults who have higher fiber diets, namely those high in cereal fiber, may have a lower risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes. They hypothesized that potential mechanisms for this decreased risk could include increased satiety, prolonged release of hormonal signals, slowed down nutrient absorption, or altered fermentation in the large intestine. All these mechanisms could lead to a lower BMI and reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In addition to keeping weight down, dietary fiber may also affect diabetes risk by other mechanisms such as improving control of blood sugar and decreasing insulin peaks after meals, and increasing the body's insulin sensitivity.
This is exciting research that adds to the pile of already substantial evidence supporting dietary fiber's beneficial impact on health!


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