Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of psyllium in type 2 diabetic patients.
Design: The study included three phases: phase 1 (1 week), phase 2 (treatment, 14 g fibre/day, 6 weeks) and phase 3 (4 weeks). At the end of each phase a clinical evaluation was performed after the ingestion of a test breakfast of 1824.2 kJ (436 kcal). Measurements included concentrations of blood glucose, insulin, fructosamine, GHbA(1c), C-peptide and 24 h urinary glucose excretion. In addition, uric acid, cholesterol and several mineral and vitamin concentrations were also evaluated.
Setting: The study was performed at the Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Nursing at the University of León (Spain).
Subjects: Twenty type 2 diabetic patients (12 men and 8 women) participated in the study with a mean age of 67.4 y for men and 66 y for women. The mean body mass index of men was 28.2 kg/m(2) and that of women 25.9 kg/m(2).
Results: Glucose absorption decreased significantly in the presence of psyllium (12.2%); this reduction is not associated with an important change in insulin levels (5%). GHbA(1c), C-peptide and 24 h urinary glucose excretion decreased (3.8, 14.9 and 22.5%, respectively) during the treatment with fibre (no significant differences) as well as fructosamine (10.9%, significant differences). Psyllium also reduced total and LDL cholesterol (7.7 and 9.2%, respectively, significant differences), and uric acid (10%, significant difference). Minerals and vitamins did not show important changes, except sodium that increased significantly after psyllium administration.
Conclusions: The results obtained indicate a beneficial therapeutic effect of psyllium (Plantaben) in the metabolic control of type 2 diabetics as well as in lowering the risk of coronary heart disease. We also conclude that consumption of this fibre does not adversely affect either mineral or vitamin A and E concentrations. Finally, for a greater effectiveness, psyllium treatment should be individually evaluated.