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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Shao, Qiming
item Keagy, Pamela

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/11/2002
Publication Date: 1/10/2003
Citation: Shao, Q., Keagy, P.M. 2003. Benefits of dietary fiber for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Book Chapter, Frontiers in Cardiovascular Health, p. 227-241.

Interpretive Summary: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes are chronic diseases distributed worldwide. Both of them share of some common risk factors and have some common pathophysiological changes. CVD and diabetes are a huge burden on the health care system of every government and its population. Therefore, the early prevention and treatment of diabetes, insulin resistance and CVD has a significant role for public health and the health care system. Dietary fiber has received recognition for reducing the risk of developing both CVD and diabetes. The implication is that dietary fiber may have therapeutic benefits in prediabetic metabolic conditions and in preventing the cardiovascular complications. The effect of dietary fiber on the common risk factors and possibly relative gene expression may reduce the morbidity of these diseases. Dietary fiber can be characterized by their behavior in aqueous solutions as soluble or insoluble, or be characterized fermentable or nonfermentable, which is related to the degree of the fermentation by anaerobic bacteria in the large intestine. Soluble fiber is more fermentable than insoluble fiber. Therefore the amount of total dietary fiber consumed and the chemical and physiological properties of different fiber sources will determine the effectiveness in prevention or treatment of CVD, insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.

Technical Abstract: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the most common problem confronting those with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes, an independent risk factor for CVD, is associated with a high incidence of CVD and increased short-and long-term mortality. The nutritional approach to CVD and diabetes is an important adjunct to traditional pharmaceutical intervention in decreasing the morbidity and mortality of both diseases as well as minimizing the economic and social costs associated with these diseases. Dietary fiber, an important component of the diet, may have a beneficial valuable effect related to both CVD and diabetes. This review will focus on the relationship of dietary fiber with CVD and diabetes, two of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in developed countries. The first part of this review overviewed cardiovascular disease, diabetes and insulin resistance and their relationship. The common disorders of coronary heart disease and diabetes include high cholesterol, lipoproteins changes, dyslipidemia, hyperinsulinemia, bile acid metabolism disorders and gallstones etc. The second part of this review described what is the dietary fiber, the dietary fiber in foods, and the effect of dietary fiber on cardiovascular disease and diabetes as well as on their common risk factors. The possible mechanisms of dietary fiber on both CVD and diabetes are also discussed in this review.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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