The use of diets rich in unabsorbable carbohydrate ("fiber") has been advocated for the treatment of noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). The soluble viscous fibers such as guar gum are most effective in normalizing carbohydrate intolerance in such patients; particulate fibers such as cellulose have little or no effect. While the latter are known to affect many aspects of nutrition when consumed in great quantity, little is known of the toxicity of guar gum. Eight adults with NIDDM are reported here who consumed at least 30 grams of guar gum for at least 16 weeks without any change in hematologic, hepatic, or renal function. Serologic screening revealed no change in lipid, protein or mineral metabolism, and no change in electrolyte balance. It is concluded that consumption of 30 grams of guar gum per day for prolonged periods is without serious consequences.