Purpose: Use of polypharmacy in the treatment of diabetes is the norm; nonetheless, optimal control is often not achieved. Konjac-glucomannan-based fibre blend (KGB) and American ginseng (AG) have individually been shown to improve glycaemia and CVD risk factors in type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study was to determine whether co-administration of KGB and AG could improve diabetes control beyond conventional treatment.
Method: Thirty-nine participants with type 2 diabetes (6.5 > A1c < 8.4%) were enrolled between January 2002 and May 2003 at the Risk Factor Modification Centre at St Michaels Hospital in a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial with each intervention lasting 12-weeks. Medications, diet and lifestyle were kept constant. Interventions consisted of 6 g of fibre from KGB together with 3 g of AG (KGB and AG) or wheat bran-based, fibre-matched control. Primary endpoint was the difference in HbA1c levels at week 12.
Results: Thirty participants (18M:12F; age: 64 ± 7 years; BMI: 28 ± 5 kg/m2; HbA1c: 7.0 ± 1.0%) completed the study, and consumed 5.5 and 4.9 g/day of fibre from KGB and wheat bran control, respectively, and 2.7 g/day of AG. At week 12, HbA1c levels were 0.31% lower on the KGB and AG compared to control (p = 0.011). Mean (±SEM) plasma lipids decreased on the KGB and AG vs control by 8.3 ± 3.1% in LDL-C (p = 0.002), 7.5 ± 2.4% in non-HDL-C (p = 0.013), 5.7 ± 1.9% in total-C (p = 0.012), 4.1 ± 2.1% in total-C:HDL-C ratio (p = 0.042), 9.0 ± 2.3% in ApoB (p = 0.0005) and 14.6 ± 4.2% in ApoB:ApoA1 ratio (p = 0.049).
Conclusions: Co-administration of KGB and AG increases the effectiveness of conventional therapy through a moderate but clinically meaningful reduction in HbA1c and lipid concentrations over 12 weeks in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Clinical trials registration: NCT02806349 ( https://clinicaltrials.gov/ ).
Keywords: American ginseng; Dietary fibre; Glucomannan; Konjac mannan; Type 2 diabetes; Xanthan.