The ability of psyllium fiber to reduce postprandial serum glucose and insulin concentrations was studied in 18 non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients in a crossover design. Psyllium fiber or placebo was administered twice during each 15-h crossover phase, immediately before breakfast and dinner. No psyllium fiber or placebo was given at lunch, which allowed measurement of residual or second-meal effects. For meals eaten immediately after psyllium ingestion, maximum postprandial glucose elevation was reduced by 14% at breakfast and 20% at dinner relative to placebo. Postprandial serum insulin concentrations measured after breakfast were reduced by 12% relative to placebo. Second-meal effects after lunch showed a 31% reduction in postprandial glucose elevation relative to placebo. No significant differences in effects were noted between patients whose diabetes was controlled by diet alone and those whose diabetes was controlled by oral hypoglycemic drugs. Results indicate that psyllium as a meal supplement reduces proximate and second-meal postprandial glucose and insulin concentrations in non-insulin-dependent diabetics.