Eating Bran Helps Those With T2 Diabetes
By Mike Boyle

The results of a 26-year study, culled from data taken from the Nurses` Health Study and reported in the May 10 issue of Circulation, says women with diabetes who ate a diet rich in bran-containing foods had a significantly lower death rate.

Commenting on the study to BusinessWeek, Dr. Lu Qi, an assistant professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and lead author of the Circulation report, says, "Many studies before have found some protective effect in the general population. Our study is the first in diabetic patients, and it provides direct evidence that whole grain, especially bran, reduces total mortality and cardiovascular mortality in diabetic patients."

Though the study included only women, Dr. Qi says there is no reason to doubt that the same protective effect occurs in men. As a matter of fact, BusinessWeek reports that Dr. Qi and his colleagues now are doing a similar analysis of data from a men-only study to prove that point.

The study covered 7,822 women diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and who answered questions about their diets every four years.

Over the 26 years covered by the study, the women in the top 20 percent for eating whole grain, which includes bran and fiber, had a 35 percent lower risk for death from cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke and a 28 percent lower risk for death from all causes than women in the bottom 20 percent.

As BusinessWeek points out, the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association have long recommended diets rich in whole-grain, high-fiber foods. "Our data strongly supports those recommendations," Qi said. "We should recommend increased intake of whole grain for diabetic patients."

Read the entire BusinessWeek article here, and read an abstract of Dr. Qi`s report from Circulation here.


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Originally posted May 11, 2010.