Dietary Fiber and Diabetes

  • James W. Anderson
Part of the Topics in Gastroenterology book series (TGEN)


Persons with diabetes mellitus may reap substantial benefits from increasing their intake of dietary fiber. The short-term use of selected fibers lowers blood glucose values and insulin requirements1,2; serum cholesterol and triglyceride values may also decline.1,3 The long-term effects of fiber intake have not been evaluated, but two potential benefits can be proposed. First, improved diabetic control should lessen the likelihood of the specific complications of diabetes.4 Second, improved diabetic control coupled with lower serum cholesterol and triglyceride values should lessen the risk of arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Epidemiological evidence supports both these suggestions. In regions such as Japan, India, and the West Indies where the intake of carbohydrate and dietary fiber is high, the specific complications of diabetes are less frequent than in Western countries, where the fiber intake is low.5–7 Heart attacks and diabetic gangrene among persons with diabetes are less common in India and Japan than in the United States.6,7 Thus, an increase in dietary fiber intake by persons with diabetes may improve diabetic control; the risk for the small-blood-vessel complications specific for diabetes as well as for large-blood-vessel disease may be decreased.


Dietary Fiber Control Diet Insulin Dose Insulin Requirement Dietary Fiber Intake 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • James W. Anderson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Medical ServiceVeterans Administration Medical CenterUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of Kentucky College of MedicineLexingtonUSA

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