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Fiber, Fiber, Burning Bright

There are two main types of fiber – soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is the kind that dissolves in water. Found in foods like oatmeal and beans, soluble fiber is believed to help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, does not dissolve, but passes through the digestive system largely intact. A new study suggests that insoluble fiber may improve the body?s use of insulin, which could help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in people who are overweight.

To see what role insoluble fiber plays in the development of diabetes, scientists in Germany recruited 17 overweight women and had them consume two specialized diets. For three days, the women ate a diet that included white bread enriched with 31.2 grams of insoluble fiber per day. After a washout period, the women ate a similar diet for three days, using a low-fiber bread.

When the scientists compared blood samples taken at the end of each diet, they found that being on the fiber-rich diet for three days "significantly improved whole-body insulin sensitivity." Since a decline in insulin sensitivity is a precursor to type 2 diabetes, they suggested that consuming insoluble fiber – which raised insulin sensitivity levels – could help reduce diabetes risk.

If you're looking to lower your risk of developing diabetes, talk with your chiropractor about improving your diet by eating bran, brown rice, green beans, and other foods high in insoluble fiber. Your chiropractor also can provide you with ways to improve your overall health and fitness levels. For more information, visit


Weickert MO, Mohlig M, Schofl C, et al. Cereal fiber improves whole-body insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese women. Diabetes Care, April 2006;29(4):775-780.