Background: Water-soluble dietary fibers decrease postprandial glucose concentrations and decrease serum cholesterol concentrations. This study examined the effects of administering psyllium to men with type 2 diabetes.
Objective: The objective was to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of psyllium husk fiber used adjunctively to a traditional diet for diabetes in the treatment of men with type 2 diabetes and mild-to-moderate hypercholesterolemia.
Design: After a 2-wk dietary stabilization phase, 34 men with type 2 diabetes and mild-to-moderate hypercholesterolemia were randomly assigned to receive 5.1 g psyllium or cellulose placebo twice daily for 8 wk. Serum lipid and glycemic indexes were evaluated biweekly on an outpatient basis and at weeks 0 and 8 in a metabolic ward.
Results: In the metabolic ward, the psyllium group showed significant improvements in glucose and lipid values compared with the placebo group. Serum total and LDL-cholesterol concentrations were 8.9% (P < 0.05) and 13.0% (P = 0.07) lower, respectively, in the psyllium than in the placebo group. All-day and postlunch postprandial glucose concentrations were 11.0% (P < 0.05) and 19.2% (P < 0.01) lower in the psyllium than in the placebo group. Both products were well tolerated, with no serious adverse events related to treatment reported in either group.
Conclusion: The addition of psyllium to a traditional diet for persons with diabetes is safe, is well tolerated, and improves glycemic and lipid control in men with type 2 diabetes and hypercholesterolemia.