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Prebiotic inulin shows glycemic benefits for diabetic women

By Stephen DANIELLS , 13-May-2013
Last updated on 13-May-2013 at 14:42 GMT

The potential benefits of inulin for diabetics may be via its prebiotic activity
The potential benefits of inulin for diabetics may be via its prebiotic activity

Dietary supplements of inulin may improve some glycemic measures in women when type-2 diabetes, suggests a new study.

Data published in the PubMed listed Diabetes & Metabolism Journal indicate that a daily dose of 10 grams of inulin improved plasma glucose by 8.5% and glycosylated hemoglobin by 10.4%.

In addition, levels of malondialdehyde, a marker of oxidative stress, decreased by 37%, report researchers from the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in Iran.

The study has potential implications for the 24 million or so people living with diabetes in the US. The total costs are thought to be as much as $174 billion, with $116 billion being direct costs from medication, according to 2005-2007 American Diabetes Association figures.

Study details

The new study used high performance inulin from Sensus for the randomized, triple-blind controlled trial. Forty nine women with type-2 diabetes were randomly assigned to receive daily supplements of inulin (10 grams) or maltodextrin (control) for two months.

Results showed that, in addition to the improvements in fasting glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, and malondialdehyde levels, the inulin supplements were also associated with increases in the subjects’ total antioxidant capacity (18.8%), as well as the activity of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) by 4.4%, compared with the control group.

 Changes in fasting insulin, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, and catalase activity were not significant in the inulin group when compared with the maltodextrin group. Glutathione peroxidase activity remained unchanged in both groups.

Commenting on the potential mechanism, the researchers said that this “remain[s] unclear”. Possible mechanisms include a direct antioxidant effect. Another mechanism may be via prebiotic modifications on the gut microflora.

Safe and inexpensive

“The results of this study showed that inulin supplementation reduces body weight and improves glycemic indices, antioxidant indices, and the MDA levels in type 2 diabetes patients,” wrote the researchers.

“These findings suggest a safe and inexpensive intervention for the management of type 2 diabetes.

“Further investigations are needed in order to confirm the positive effect that inulin had on the glycemic and antioxidant indices and the MDA in type 2 diabetes patients.”

Source: Diabetes & Metabolism Journal
Volume 37, Number 2, Pages 140-148, doi: 10.4093/dmj.2013.37.2.140
“Effects of high performance inulin supplementation on glycemic control and antioxidant status in women with type 2 diabetes”
Authors: Pourghassem Gargari B, Dehghan P, Aliasgharzadeh A, Asghari Jafar-Abadi M.

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