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Dietary Fiber May Improve Insulin Sensitivity in Women

Insulin resistance occurs when the body’s cells no longer respond to the effects of insulin. It is often a precursor for type-2 diabetes. A recent study suggests that consuming high-amylose maize resistant starch (HAM-RS2, which is a dietary fiber) might improve insulin sensitivity in women with insulin resistance.

Participants in the study included 40 non-diabetic women between the ages of 22 and 67 years old. Their BMIs ranged from 20.6 to 47.4 kg/m2. Over the course of four weeks, the women were given either 15 g of the dietary fiber, 30 g of the dietary fiber, or a placebo. All three were given in the form of a cookie.

After each four week period, the women underwent a four week washout period, followed by the next intervention. The researchers assessed insulin sensitivity at the end of each four week period via a glucose tolerance test.

The researchers found that insulin sensitivity was approximately 16% higher in the 30 g group when compared with the control group. Additionally, the women who completed the entire study had insulin sensitivity values that were 23% higher than the control group.

Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham conducted the study. It was published on January 13, 2016, in Nutrition & Metabolism.

Previous studies suggest that HAM-RS2 is beneficial for gastrointestinal health. It can be found in green bananas, potatoes, and high-amylose corn.

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