Home Diabetes St. Michaels Hospital Research: Soluble Fiber May Improve Diabetes Control

St. Michaels Hospital Research: Soluble Fiber May Improve Diabetes Control

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As noted in Channel News Asia, diabetics who take soluble fiber supplements have slightly lower blood sugar than diabetics who do not add this type of fiber to their diets according to research from St. Michael’s Hospital, affiliated with University of Toronto. The researchers focused on viscous fiber which includes food items such as legumes, asparagus, oats and flax. Supplements include guar, gum, psyllium and pectin. The Canadian researchers examined 28 clinical trials totaling 1,394 participants with diabetes. People were randomly chosen to take viscous fiber supplements or to use other types of supplements without viscous fiber or no supplements at all.

Among the people taking viscous fiber supplements, half consumed doses above 13g daily, for periods ranging from three weeks to a year. Compared to participants who did not take viscous fiber, those who did had better blood sugar control. They had lower levels of haemoglobin (Hb) A1c, which reflects average blood sugar over about three months. They also had lower blood sugar levels on an empty stomach, known as fasting glucose levels. It is also possible that so-called publication bias, or the disclosure of only positive trial results, may have made fiber supplements appear more effective than they really are, the study authors note.

Diabetics have long been advised to consume more fiber as a method to lower blood sugar levels. Those in the west where meat and potato diets are common do not get enough fiber to make a meaningful difference. Diet does matter, but unfortunately, TrialSite News cynically believes the “train has left the station” in terms of high-quality diet and the masses. An enlightened few here and there will internalize the need to change lifestyle; diet—behavior. 

Lead Research/Investigator

Dr. Vladmir Vuksan

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