Fiber Lowers Blood Sugar: Improves Glucose Levels
In a study that offers hope for people with Type 2 diabetes, Rutgers University researchers have shown that a diet high in diverse fibers promotes the growth of certain gut bacteria, leading to improved blood glucose control, increased insulin production and improved average blood glucose (A1C) levels. In the six-year study published in Science, 27 diabetes patients in China were fed a diet of whole grains, Traditional Chinese Medicinal foods and prebiotics for up to 86 days, while a group of 16 similar patients ate a similar diet with less fiber. All took the diabetes drug acarbose, which helps turn starch into fiber.
By the study’s end, 89 percent of those on the high-fiber diet and 50 percent of the lower-fiber diet group reached blood sugar levels in the normal range. Researchers theorized that the fiber increased numbers of the specific bacteria that break down carbohydrates, producing short-chain fatty acids that nourished gut-lining cells, reduced inflammation and helped control appetite. A shortage of short-chain fatty acids has been associated with Type 2 diabetes and other diseases.
This article appears in the August 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.