Paresh Dandona, MD, PhD

A study led by Paresh Dandona, MD, PhD, was aimed at determining how fiber might function in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes Study: Fiber Increased Insulin Secretion

Published May 2, 2018

Paresh Dandona, MD, PhD, has led research showing 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.

“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.”
SUNY Distinguished Professor and chief of endocrinology, metabolism and diabetes

Building on Work Published in Leading Journal

The research builds on work Dandona and his team published last year in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. This previous research showed that adding fiber to the diet after high-fat, high-carbohydrate meals — which are 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,” says Dandona, SUNY Distinguished Professor and chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes.

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.

Studying Patients After Meals With and Without Fiber

In the current research, 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 meal induces proteins, which interfere with insulin signaling and thus cause insulin resistance. Fiber intake prevents this. This action may potentially prevent diabetes and its further evolution,” he explains.

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.

Society Says Abstract in Top 2 Percent of Submissions

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

This abstract was chosen as one of the top 2 percent of all the abstracts submitted to the society.

Dandona, a former Rhodes Scholar, 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. He sees patients at UBMD Internal Medicine.

Co-Authors from Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences

Dandona’s co-authors in the Department of Medicine are:

Chi Tan, an undergraduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences, is also a co-author.

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