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Fiber Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Patients

Findings support fiber's role in reducing insulin resistance and the risk of type 2 diabetes

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Insoluble dietary fiber improves insulin sensitivity in only three days, according to a small study of obese or overweight patients published in the April issue of Diabetes Care.

Martin O. Weickert, M.D., of the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke in Nuthetal, and colleagues conducted a three-day randomized, controlled, single-blind, cross-over study in which 17 overweight or obese women with normal glucose metabolism consumed either white bread enriched with 31.2 grams of insoluble oat fiber per day or unenriched white bread.

The researchers found that whole-body insulin sensitivity improved by 13 percent in subjects who ate the enriched bread.

"By favorably influencing whole-body insulin sensitivity, intake of insoluble fiber by quantity could be underrepresented in current dietary recommendations," the authors write. "An emphasis on cereal, fruit, and vegetable consumption containing a particularly high proportion of insoluble dietary fiber might be a safe, effective, and low-cost approach to reduce insulin resistance."

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