There’s a new way for obese and overweight people to lower the blood sugar levels in the body and get a weight loss boost. A study now says they can do this by simply adding fiber supplements to their diets.
“Higher fibre intake are correlated with lower body weight, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference,” wrote researchers from Curtin University in Perth, Australia. “And even helped improve plasma lipid profiles, glycaemia and insulinemia.”
It’s been widely documented that increasing your daily intake of fruits and vegetables provides your body with more fiber naturally. But researchers found that most people don’t always get their recommended dosage of fiber through food and that taking supplements could greatly improve their health.
Researchers from Curtin University set out to discover the effects that fiber supplementation had on weight management. They used randomized trials of three groups of overweight and obese participants from 19 to 68 years of age, and monitored them over a three, then six, then 12-month duration of time.
Each of the three groups, made up of 53 people, were given three different supplements. The control group received rice flour, the second group got polyglycoplex (PGX) — which is a fiber made up of natural and highly thick polysaccharides, or complex carbohydrates — and the third group was given psyllium (PSY) fiber that is made from the husks of the Plantago ovata plant’s seed.
All of the study participants continued with their normal lives and diets, but were required to take five grams of their specific fiber supplement before each meal.
Fiber Intake Lowered Cholesterol Levels
Researchers reviewed the data, which included measuring the participants’ body weights, heights, waists and hip circumference at the three, six and 12-month check in times. The study candidates also completed three-day food and drink diaries. Changes in food intake were noted, and fasting blood samples were collected after every trial.
The PGX group experienced “significantly lower” cholesterol levels at the three and six month marks. The PSY group also had lower cholesterol at the three and six-month time frames.
The good cholesterol in the body, or high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, was lower in the PSY group at three months but higher in the PGX group after 12 months of supplementation intake, compared to the control group.
The bad cholesterol, or LDL, was reduced in both the PGX and PSY groups while supplementation intake was happening at the third, six and 12-month points in the study.
The glucose findings were a little different but all positive. When compared to the PSY and control groups, the PGX group showed consistently lower levels after receiving supplementation at the three, six and 12-month points.
The lipid profiles were healthier and the blood sugar levels were lower in both the PGX and PSY groups compared to the control group after the supplementation period. And the PGX group had increased HDL cholesterol levels and decreased fasting blood glucose levels compared to PSY group.
Polyglycoplex has a high consistency of fiber. And researchers believe that it could have led study participants to eat less food, which could also cause significant weight loss, plus a reduction of lipid, insulin and glucose levels.
“Regular consumption of a polyglycoplex or a psyllium supplement is a simple and effective method to improve blood lipids, insulin and glucose control in overweight or obese people and may lead to risk reduction for metabolic syndrome, CVD and type 2 diabetes,” the researchers concluded.