Plain language summary
The incidence of type 1 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the major vascular complication of diabetes, have been increasing wordwide. The aim of the study is to identify the associations of dietary fibre with glycaemic control. The study is a cross-sectional longitudinal study which enrolled 1257 individuals in the cross-sectional analysis and a total of 990 participants were included in the longitudinal analysis. The participants had no known history of coronary heart disease. Results indicate an inverse association between total fibre intake and the average blood glucose levels for the last two to three months in both diabetic and nondiabetic participants. Authors conclude that their study provides some evidence on the role dietary fibre intake plays on glycaemic control, which is important in the management of type 1 diabetes in patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
BACKGROUND Dietary fiber has been recommended for glucose control, and typically low intakes are observed in the general population. The role of fiber in glycemic control in reported literature is inconsistent and few reports are available in populations with type 1 diabetes (T1D). METHODS Using data from the Coronary Artery Calcification in Type 1 Diabetes (CACTI) study [n = 1257; T1D: n = 568; non-diabetic controls: n = 689] collected between March 2000 and April 2002, we examined cross-sectional (baseline) and longitudinal (six-year follow-up in 2006-2008) associations of dietary fiber and HbA1c. Participants completed a validated food frequency questionnaire, and a physical examination and fasting biochemical analyses (12 h fast) at baseline visit and at the year 6 visit. We used a linear regression model stratified by diabetes status, and adjusted for age, sex and total calories, and diabetes duration in the T1D group. We also examined correlations of dietary fiber with HbA1c. RESULTS Baseline dietary fiber intake and serum HbA1c in the T1D group were 16 g [median (IQ): 11-22 g) and 7.9 ± 1.3% mean (SD), respectively, and in the non-diabetic controls were 15 g [median (IQ): 11-21 g) and 5.4 ± 0.4%, respectively. Pearson partial correlation coefficients revealed a significant but weak inverse association of total dietary fiber with HbA1c when adjusted for age, sex, diabetes status and total calories (r = - 0.07, p = 0.01). In the adjusted linear regression model at baseline, total dietary fiber revealed a significant inverse association with HbA1c in the T1D group [β ± SE = - 0.32 ± 0.15, p = 0.034], as well as in the non-diabetic controls [- 0.10 ± 0.04, p = 0.009]. However, these results were attenuated after adjustment for dietary carbohydrates, fats and proteins, or for cholesterol and triglycerides. No such significance was observed at the year 6 follow-up, and with the HbA1c changes over 6 years. CONCLUSION Thus, at observed levels of intake, total dietary fiber reveals modest inverse associations with poor glycemic control. Future studies must further investigate the role of overall dietary quality adjusting for fiber-rich foods in T1D management.