Fiber May Fight Diabetes
Diet Rich in Whole-Grain Cereal May Lower the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
WebMD News Archive
May 15, 2007 -- Eating fiber-rich, whole-grain cereal may not only keep you
regular, but it may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
A new study shows that people who had the most fiber from whole-grain
cereals in their diet had a 27% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than
those who ate the least. Fiber from other sources, such as fruits and
vegetables, didn’t show a similar protective effect against diabetes.
Fiber Fights Diabetes
In the study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine,
researchers followed a group of more than 15,000 men and women aged 35 to 65
for an average of seven years. The participants filled out a questionnaire with
information on what they ate at the start of the study and were monitored for
signs of diabetes.
During the study, 844 people developed type 2 diabetes. The results show
that those who consumed more fiber from cereal, bread, and other grain products
were less likely to develop diabetes than those who ate less cereal fiber.
For example, those who ate the most cereal fiber (an average of 16.6 grams
per day) had a 27% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who ate the least
(about 6.6 grams per day). No relationship was found between total fiber intake
or consumption of other types of fiber, such as from fruits and vegetables, and
diabetes risk. There also was no relationship found between magnesium intake
and development of diabetes among the study participants.
The researchers note that consuming fiber may help with the body's ability
to handle blood sugar. They also note that low magnesium has been linked to
patients with type 2 diabetes.
To put their results into perspective, researchers at the German Institute
of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke also looked at 17 other studies on fiber
and magnesium intake and diabetes risk. The pooled results of those studies
showed that people who ate the most cereal fiber had a 33% lower risk of
developing type 2 diabetes than those who ate the least.
In addition, those who ate the most magnesium had a 23% lower risk of type 2
diabetes than those who ate the least.