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Reuters Health Information (2009-10-22): Less fiber prompts more diabetes in older men


Less fiber prompts more diabetes in older men

Last Updated: 2009-10-22 17:28:18 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A low intake of dietary fiber in men over the age of 60 years is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, UK researchers report in the October issue of Diabetes Care.

"This study confirms that diets higher in fiber intake -- more or less regardless of the source of fiber -- may be protective against development of diabetes," senior investigator Dr. Naveed Sattar told Reuters Health.

Dr. Sattar of the University of Glasgow and colleagues came to this conclusion after prospectively studying 3428 men aged 60 to 79 years who were not diabetic at enrollment.

Over the course of 7 years of follow-up, there were 162 incident cases of diabetes. After adjustment for factors including total caloric intake, men with the lowest daily fiber intake (20 g or less) were at increased risk of diabetes (relative risk, 1.47).

Total fiber intake was also significantly and inversely associated with inflammatory markers, tissue plasminogen activator, and gamma-glutamyl transferase, which is associated with hepatic fat deposition.

After adjustment for levels of C reactive protein, interleukin-6, gamma-glutamyl transferase and of other markers, the increased risk of diabetes was attenuated (relative risk, 1.28).

The researchers concede, "We cannot establish the nature of the association between fiber intake and hepatic function and the inflammatory process."

Nevertheless, Dr. Sattar concluded, "The work indicates that part of fiber's protection against diabetes may stem from beneficial effects to keep liver fat and inflammation levels down."

Diabetes Care 2009;32:1823-1825.

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