Background: There is a strong association between cardiometabolic risk and adipose tissue dysfunction with great consequences on type 2 diabetic patients. Visceral Adiposity Index (VAI) is an indirect clinical marker of adipose tissue dysfunction. Gum Arabic (GA) is a safe dietary fiber, an exudate of Acacia Senegal. Gum Arabic had shown lipid lowering effect in both humans and animals. The aim of this trial was to determine the effect of GA supplementation on anthropometric obesity marker, Visceral Adiposity Index (VAI) and blood pressure in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Methods: This randomized, double blinded, placebo controlled trial recruited a total of 91 type 2 diabetic patients (73 females, 18 males), age (mean ± SD) 50.09 ± 9.3 years on hypoglycemic agents and were randomly assigned into two groups, either to consume 30 g of GA or 5 g of placebo daily for 3 months. Anthropometric obesity markers were measured and indices were calculated. Blood pressure was measured and high density lipoprotein (HDL) and triglycerides (TG) were determined in fasting blood samples at the start and end of the study period.
Results: After intervention, Gum Arabic decreased BMI and VAI significantly (P < 0.05) in GA group by 2 and 23.7% respectively. Body adiposity index significantly decreased by 3.9% in GA group while there were no significant changes in waist circumference or waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). Systolic blood pressure significantly decreased by 7.6% in GA group and by 2.7% in placebo group from baseline with no significant changes in diastolic blood pressure in the two groups.
Conclusion: Gum Arabic consumption at a dose of 30 g/d for 3 months may play an effective role in preventing weight gain and modulating adipose tissue dysfunction in type 2 diabetic patients, although no effect has been shown in waist-to-hip ratio.
Trial registration: The trial had been registered as prospective interventional clinical trials in the Pan African Clinical Trial Registry (PACTR) PACTR201403000785219 , on 7th March 2014.
Keywords: BMI and blood pressure; Gum Arabic; Lipid profile; Nutrition; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; VAI.