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Dietary fiber intake and risk of type 2 diabetes: a dose–response analysis of prospective studies


Observational studies suggest an association between dietary fiber intake and risk of type 2 diabetes, but the results are inconclusive. We conducted a meta-analysis of prospective studies evaluating the associations of dietary fiber intake and risk of type 2 diabetes. Relevant studies were identified by searching EMBASE (from 1974 to April 2013) and PubMed (from 1966 to April 2013). The fixed or random-effect model was selected based on the homogeneity test among studies. In addition, a 2-stage random-effects dose–response meta-analysis was performed. We identified 17 prospective cohort studies of dietary fiber intake and risk of type 2 diabetes involving 19,033 cases and 488,293 participants. The combined RR (95 % CI) of type 2 diabetes for intake of total dietary fiber, cereal fiber, fruit fiber and insoluble fiber was 0.81 (0.73–0.90), 0.77 (0.69–0.85), 0.94 (0.88–0.99) and 0.75 (0.63–0.89), respectively. A nonlinear relationship was found of total dietary fiber intake with risk of type 2 diabetes (P for nonlinearity < 0.01), and the RRs (95 % CI) of type 2 diabetes were 0.98 (0.90–1.06), 0.97 (0.87–1.07), 0.89 (0.80–0.99), 0.76 (0.65–0.88), and 0.66 (0.53–0.82) for 15, 20, 25, 30, and 35 g/day. The departure from nonlinear relationship was not significant (P for nonlinearity = 0.72), and the risk of type 2 diabetes decreased by 6 % (RR 0.94, 95 % CI 0.93–0.96) for 2 g/day increment in cereal fiber intake. Findings from this meta-analysis indicate that the intakes of dietary fiber may be inversely associated with risk of type 2 diabetes.

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Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest existed for any of the authors.

Author information

Correspondence to Yanping Zhao.

Additional information

Baodong Yao and Hong Fang have contributed equally to this work.

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Yao, B., Fang, H., Xu, W. et al. Dietary fiber intake and risk of type 2 diabetes: a dose–response analysis of prospective studies. Eur J Epidemiol 29, 79–88 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10654-013-9876-x

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  • Dietary fiber
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Prospective studies
  • Meta-analysis