Posted on Mar 12, 2018, 10 p.m.
Type 2 diabetes may soon improve thanks to a new high fiber diet study being conducted at Rutgers University as published in Science.
A select group of gut bacteria being promoted by a diet high in diverse fibers led to better blood glucose control, weight loss, and better lipid levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes in a study spanning 6 years providing evidence that eating proper dietary fibres may re-balance gut microbiota in the ecosystem within the gastrointestinal tract which help digest food and are important to overall health.
Type 2 diabetes develops when the body doesn’t use insulin well or the pancreas makes too little insulin. Bacteria in the gut break down carbohydrates and produce short chain fatty acids that nourish gut lining cells, reducing inflammation and help to control appetite. Type 2 diabetes and other diseases has been associated with short chain fatty acid shortage. Increasing dietary fiber has been shown to be able to help to alleviate type 2 diabetes, effectiveness of this can vary due to lacking to fully understanding the mechanisms.
A randomized study of patients with type 2 diabetes was conducted with the participants put into 2 groups, of which the control group receiving standard patient education and dietary recommendations, and the other group given a large amount of variety of dietary fibers while ingesting a similar diet for energy and major nutrients, with both groups taking acarbose to help control blood glucose. The high fiber diets consumed in the treatment group included whole grains, prebiotics, and traditional Chinese medicinal foods rich in dietary fibers and prebiotics which promote short chain fatty acid promoting gut bacteria. Patients on high fiber diet after 12 weeks were observed to have had a greater decrease in a 3 month average of blood glucose levels, fasting blood glucose levels decreased and they also lost more weight than that of the control group.
Of the 141 strains of short chain fatty acid producing gut bacterias that were identified by next generation sequencing only 15 are promoted by consuming more fibers and thus are likely to be the drivers behind better health. When boosted by the high fiber diet these 15 became the dominant strains in the gut, these acids created a mildly acidic gut environment that reduced populations of detrimental bacterias leading to increased insulin production and better glucose control, supporting that establishing a healthy gut microbiota as a nutritional intervention and approach for the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes is effective.
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Liping Zhao, Feng Zhang, Xiaoying Ding, Guojun Wu, Yan Y. Lam, Xuejiao Wang, Huaqing Fu, Xinhe Xue, Chunhua Lu, Jilin Ma, Lihua Yu, Chengmei Xu, Zhongying Ren, Ying Xu, Songmei Xu, Hongli Shen, Xiuli Zhu, Yu Shi, Qingyun Shen, Weiping Dong, Rui Liu, Yunxia Ling, Yue Zeng, Xingpeng Wang, Qianpeng Zhang, Jing Wang, Linghua Wang, Yanqiu Wu, Benhua Zeng, Hong Wei, Menghui Zhang, Yongde Peng, Chenhong Zhang. Gut bacteria selectively promoted by dietary fibers alleviate type 2 diabetes. Science, 2018; 359 (6380): 1151 DOI: 10.1126/science.aao5774