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Keywords:

  • dietary fiber;
  • glycated hemoglobin;
  • meta-analysis;
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus

This systematic review with meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCT) aimed to analyze the effect of fiber intake on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. Databases were searched up to November 2012 using the following medical subject headings: diabetes, fiber, and randomized controlled trial. Absolute changes in glycated hemoglobin and fasting plasma glucose were reported as differences between baseline and end-of-study measures. Pooled estimates were obtained using random-effects models. Of the 22,046 articles initially identified, 11 (13 comparisons; range of duration, 8−24 weeks) fulfilled the inclusion criteria, providing data from 605 patients. High-fiber diets, including diets with foods rich in fiber (up to 42.5 g/day; four studies) or supplements containing soluble fiber (up to 15.0 g/day; nine studies), reduced absolute values of glycated hemoglobin by 0.55% (95% CI −0.96 to −0.13) and fasting plasma glucose by 9.97 mg/dL (95% CI −18.16 to −1.78). In conclusion, increased fiber intake improved glycemic control, indicating it should be considered as an adjunctive tool in the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes.