Associations Between Dietary Fiber and Inflammation, Hepatic Function, and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Older Men

Potential mechanisms for the benefits of fiber on diabetes risk

  1. S. Goya Wannamethee, PHD1,
  2. Peter H. Whincup, FRCP, PHD2,
  3. Mary C. Thomas, MSC1 and
  4. Naveed Sattar, FRCP, PHD3
  1. 1Department of Primary Care and Population Health, University College Medical School, Hampstead Campus, University College London, London, U.K.;
  2. 2British Heart Foundation, Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, U.K.;
  3. 3Division of Community Health Sciences, St George's, University of London, London, U.K.
  1. Corresponding author: S. Goya Wannamethee, goya{at}


OBJECTIVE To examine the relationship between dietary fiber and the risk of type 2 diabetes in older men and the role of hepatic and inflammatory markers.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS The study was performed prospectively and included 3,428 nondiabetic men (age 60–79 years) followed up for 7 years, during which there were 162 incident cases of type 2 diabetes.

RESULTS Low total dietary fiber (lowest quartile ≤20 g/day) was associated with increased risk of diabetes after adjustment for total calorie intake and potential confounders (relative risk −1.47 [95% CI 1.03–2.11]). This increased risk was seen separately for both low cereal and low vegetable fiber intake. Dietary fiber was inversely associated with inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein, interleukin-6) and with tissue plasminogen activator and γ-glutamyl transferase. Adjustment for these markers attenuated the increased risk (1.28 [0.88–1.86]).

CONCLUSIONS Dietary fiber is associated with reduced diabetes risk, which may be partly explained by inflammatory markers and hepatic fat deposition.


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    • Received March 10, 2009.
    • Accepted June 30, 2009.
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This Article

  1. Diabetes Care vol. 32 no. 10 1823-1825
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