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Do Fiber and Psyllium Fiber Improve Diabetic Metabolism?

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Increasing numbers of elderly individuals with diabetes look for natural means to manage their disease to reduce diabetes-related complications. The American Diabetes Association recommends a goal of 25 g to 35 g dietary fiber daily for a healthy diet. This review focuses on recent research that explores the utility of fiber and psyllium fiber in improving glucose control in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). Fiber studies show decreased glucose concentrations and decreasing all-cause mortality. Small studies looking at psyllium fiber, in particular, have shown it to be associated with lower mean daily glucose concentrations, lower postmeal glucose concentrations, fewer hypoglycemic events, lower A1C levels, and lower insulin concentrations in people with DM. Results, as well as strengths and weaknesses of the studies, are presented. Considering the available research, we recommend elderly patients who are not able to meet their fiber goals by dietary intake consider psyllium supplementation.
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Keywords: A1C; ADA = American Diabetes Association; Blood glucose; DM = Diabetes mellitus; Diabetes mellitus; FIB = Usual diet with 12 g psyllium fiber supplement; Fiber; HF = High-fiber; HLT = Healthy diet with placebo; HLT-FIB = Healthy diet with 12 g psyllium fiber supplement; Hypoglycemia; Insulin resistance; LF = Low-fiber; Psyllium; Soluble fiber; T2DM = Type 2 diabetes melllitus; d = Day; g = Gram

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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  • The Consultant Pharmacist® is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. It is dedicated exclusively to the medication needs of the elderly in all settings, including adult day care, ambulatory care, assisted living, community, hospice, and nursing facilities. This award-winning journal is a member benefit of ASCP. Individuals who are not members and wish to receive The Consultant Pharmacist® will want to consider joining ASCP.
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