Diabetes is a metabolic disease that leads to high sugar levels in the blood. The hormone insulin either doesn’t make enough insulin or cannot effectively utilise it, which is responsible for stabilising the sugar levels in the blood. People who have diabetes are long advised to consume dietary fibre through food sources or supplements to lower their blood sugar levels.
Soluble Dietary Fibre (DF) reduces the risk of having diabetes, which is associated with numerous complications such as kidney failure, heart diseases, and susceptibility to infection.
Improving the quality of diet is an effective strategy in controlling hyperglycaemia and may reduce the associated complications. Dietary fibre is widely prescribed either alone in the form of a supplement along with medications.
A study by Chen Chunye teal, 2016 investigated the effects of soluble finer in Diabetes type 2 patients, they were divided into 2 groups where one was supplemented 20g/day and the other was the placebo group. The results showed that the intake of soluble fibre significantly helped improve the blood glucose levels, insulin resistance and metabolic profile.
How does it help reduce sugar levels?
These fractions of soluble fibre include inulin, pectin, β-glucan and resistant starch etc. coming from different food sources.
The soluble fibre has viscous, gel-forming property, which helps lower the cholesterol and stays in the colon for long and keeps you full for a long time.
How Inulin (soluble fibre) works?
It is a type of soluble fibre and present in foods such as onions, garlic, wheat, bananas. Enzymatic hydrolyses of inulin are less than 10% in the small intestine as it consists of beta bonds. It then enters the large intestine and gets completely metabolised by the microflora, therefore acting as a prebiotic. It may help reduce weight as it has a subgroup oligofructose, a subgroup of inulin, that delays digestion, which in turn helps increase satiety and decreases the intake of food. This happens by suppressing the appetite-suppressing hormones such as glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP 1). Also, as it takes time to pass through the colon, it doesn’t lead to an insulin spike after consumption.
To sum up, people with Diabetes Type 2 should be encouraged to increase the dietary intake of dietary fibre, particularly soluble fibre to get the benefits. Dietary fibre is a type of complex carbohydrate and it is important to understand that the type of carbohydrate you choose to eat makes the difference. Complex carbohydrates have a low glycemic index, it makes it hard for the body to metabolise carbohydrate into glucose, which means it doesn’t spike the sugar levels after a meal.
EXPERIMENTAL AND THERAPEUTIC MEDICINE 12: 1232-1242, 2016.www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
McRae 45 Dietary Fiber and Type 2 Diabetes Review
Effects of dietary fiber and carbohydrate on glucose and lipoprotein metabolism in diabetic patients. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1663443