Research News

hand holding fiber supplement.

Study finds fiber supplement increased insulin secretion in Type 2 diabetic patients

By ELLEN GOLDBAUM

Published April 2, 2018

headshot of Paresh Dandona.
“An increase in dietary content of fiber, whether through food or a supplement, should be encouraged in order to reduce oxidative and inflammatory stress and hence, a tendency to induce insulin resistance”
Paresh Dandona, SUNY Distinguished Professor
Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

UB researchers have found that taking a fiber supplement can help patients with Type 2 diabetes boost their insulin secretion even after eating a high-fat, high-carbohydrate meal.

The research was presented on March 20 at ENDO 2018, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Chicago.

The study was led by Paresh Dandona, SUNY Distinguished Professor and chief of the Division of Endocrinology in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB. Dandona, who sees patients at UBMD Internal Medicine, is an expert in diabetes research and treatment, and a pioneer in exploring novel ways that patients with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can achieve better blood sugar control.

The current work builds on his team’s previous research, published last year in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, showing that adding fiber to the diet after a high-fat, high-carbohydrate meal, which is known to increase inflammation, will have beneficial anti-inflammatory and metabolic effects.

“Dietary fiber is known to reduce the incidence of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in large epidemiological studies,” Dandona says. He notes his team at UB provided the first mechanistic evidence — evidence aimed at determining a mechanism — at cellular and molecular levels that fiber exerts an anti-inflammatory effect, lowering glucose levels and boosting insulin concentration in normal subjects.

The current study was aimed at finding out how fiber might function in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Dandona and his colleagues studied 12 patients at the Clinical Research Center, part of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism.

Levels of blood sugar, insulin and proteins involved in inflammation were measured in the patients after they consumed a high-fat, high-carbohydrate meal. The same patients consumed the same meal a week later, but this time they also consumed Fiber One, a commercially available supplement, before and after the meal.

“After eating the meal, diabetics’ insulin secretion increased significantly after the fiber. However, this increase wasn’t sufficient to reduce their glucose levels,” Dandona says.

The fiber supplement also resulted in suppressing comprehensively inflammation and oxidative stress in these patients.

“An increase in dietary content of fiber, whether through food or a supplement, should be encouraged in order to reduce oxidative and inflammatory stress and hence, a tendency to induce insulin resistance,” Dandona says.

The research was funded by the unit’s own research funds.

Co-authors on the study with Dandona are Husam Ghanim, research associate professor; Antoine Makdissi, clinical associate professor; Manav Batra, clinical assistant professor; Ajay Chaudhuri, clinical professor; and Kelly Green, research assistant, all in the Department of Medicine in the Jacobs School, and Chi Tan, an undergraduate student in the Department of Psychology.

This abstract was chosen by the Endocrine Society as one of the top 2 percent of 20,000 abstracts submitted to the society.