America’s obesity epidemic has led to a growing number of adults being diagnosed with both metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, a combination of risk factors that can lead to heart disease and other serious complications. Now results of a human clinical trial published in the British Journal of Nutrition are getting international attention for demonstrating that partially hydrolyzed guar gum may be an easy way to lower some of those risk factors through diet.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors: elevated blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels and abdominal fat. Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and until now information on the benefits of fiber for people who have already been diagnosed with both conditions has been scarce.
In the randomized, placebo-controlled study, 44 patients diagnosed with both metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes followed their usual diets and received either partially hydrolyzed guar gum or a placebo for six weeks. They were evaluated at baseline, four and six weeks.
While both groups reduced their waist circumferences, the guar gum group also benefitted from reductions in HbA1c, a blood glucose marker; lower urinary albumin excretion, an indicator of kidney function; and a reduced amount of trans fatty acids in their bloodstreams. These results were seen as early as four weeks.
The researchers commented that, while additional investigation is warranted, “The results of this present study suggest that patients with diabetes should have a dose of 10 g partially hydrolyzed guar gum added to their usual diet to improve their metabolic profile.”