Benefit of dietary fibre and whole grains in diabetes management


  • Heather Mason
  • Univadis Medical News
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A systematic literature review published in PLOS Medicine examining the effect of higher fibre intake, in adults with pre-diabetes, and type 1 and type 2 diabetes, revealed improvements in glycaemic control and reduced premature mortality.

The meta-analysis included two prospective cohort studies of 8,300 adults, and 42 controlled trials with 1,789 participants, that measured increases in dietary fibre from 1g per day to 45g per day, for 6-12 weeks.

From the prospective studies, all-cause mortality was reduced when comparing the highest fibre intakes with the lowest (relative risk [RR] 0.55, 95% CI 0.35-0.86) over a weighted mean duration of 8.8 years, and a comparable estimated cardiovascular mortality risk reduction.

A 35 per cent (95% CI 10%-48%) risk reduction in all-cause mortality was associated with an intake of 35g per day compared with 19g per day, resulting in an absolute risk reduction of 14 (95% CI 4-19) fewer deaths per 1,000 participants.

Controlled trials measuring increased fibre intake on glycated haemoglobin showed improvements when compared with controls as well as reductions in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

The authors concluded that higher-fibre diets, of any type, resulted in improvements in glycaemic control, blood lipids, body weight, and inflammation, as well as a reduction in premature mortality.