The aim of this review is to analyse the role of dietary fibre in the metabolic control of diabetes and cardiovascular complications. Special attention has been focused on mechanisms of the beneficial effects of fibre, as well as on dietary implications for the treatment of diabetes. The viscous soluble fibre reduces the postprandial glucose response and improves lipid metabolism; the reduced rate of glucose absorption, and the consequent modulation of gut hormone and cytokine secretion, is the main mechanism explaining metabolic effects of viscous fibre. The available evidence indicates that high-fibre diets (legumes, fruits, vegetables, and unrefined cereals) positively affect other cardiovascular risk factors, such as hypertension, endothelial function and inflammation. Fibre is but one component of plant food, and other substances (mineral, vitamins and antioxidants) are likely to contribute to the protective effects of high-fibre diets. Recent vascular biology studies have highlighted the impact of diet on inflammation and endothelial dysfunction, important mechanisms in the pathogenesis of the atherosclerotic process. It has been suggested that high-fibre diets positively influence endothelial function and inflammation by reducing oxidative stress.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Nutrition and Dietetics