A pan-India survey provides real world benefits of a high-fiber supplement for people with diabetes

A high-fiber supplement was used in the STAR survey and it had a measurable impact on 1524 patients with Type 2 diabetes (T2DM).
The survey was conducted amongst 3,042 patients with T2DM who were receiving treatment with antidiabetics.
The survey measured parameters such as sensation of fullness, energy level, weight and HbA1C level in people on anti-diabetes medications before and after consumption of a specific fiber rich supplement and also compared these parameters between people on anti-diabetes medications who have taken the fiber-rich supplement and who have not.
Key findings
• HbA1C level reduced significantly from an average of 8.04 to 7.32 after 3 months of consumption with no significant reduction observed in those who did not consume the fiber-rich supplement
• Weight loss of 3 kg was seen in 82% patients after 3 months, with no significant reduction in weight in those who did not consume the fiber-rich supplement
• 83% patients who consumed it felt full for a longer time after meals as compared to only 42% of the patients who did not take it
• 93% felt more energetic after taking it while 83% of those who did not take the supplement felt fatigued and tired.

Hyderabad, 31st October 2023: ‘STAR’ (Survey for ManagemenT of DiAbetes with FibeR-rich Nutrition Drink), a pan-India survey conducted amongst 3,042 people with type 2 diabetes and 152 doctors, the results of which have been recently published in the Indian Journal of Clinical Practice, has shown how daily consumption of a fiber-rich dietary supplement can help control blood glucose levels. The survey categorized people with diabetes into two groups, one which consumed a specific high-fiber supplement for a minimum of three months and the other which had not consumed the supplement. It found that people with diabetes who consumed the high-fiber supplement over three months reported significantly lower HbA1C and higher weight loss and feelings of satiety than those who did not consume the supplement.

Multiple clinical studies all over the world have established the role of a high fiber diet in the management of diabetes. Organizations such as RSSDI and American Diabetes Association also recommend that people with diabetes should increase their fiber consumption. RSSDI recommends a fiber intake of 25-40 gm/ day for people with diabetes in India, but the actual intake varies from 15-40g/day across different socioeconomic groups.[i] This means not everyone with diabetes meets their daily requirement of fiber in India. The ‘STAR’ survey shows how it is possible to bridge this gap through a dietary supplement rich in fiber and help patients with diabetes manage their condition effectively.

Dr. Sanjay Kalra, President, South Asian Federation of Endocrine Societies (SAFES) and the lead author of the survey says, “Appropriate nutrition is an integral part of diabetes management. People with diabetes are required not only to reduce consumption of carbohydrates and sugars, but also to increase their fiber intake. Fiber in diet brings a feeling of fullness and prevents overeating. During digestion, fiber reduces the rate of absorption of sugar from our gut to the blood and helps in lowering the post-meal blood glucose level. Most of the time, people with diabetes do not get the required amount of fiber from their diet. This survey showed that a fiber rich nutritional supplement can complete their daily fiber intake.”

The survey has shown that management of diabetes goes beyond only adhering to medical therapy. Patients also need to modify their diet to manage their weight and bring their blood glucose under control.

STAR, which also surveyed 152 physicians, finds that doctors recommend a fiber-rich supplement to 50% patients with Type 2 diabetes, 40% patients with obesity and 35% patients who are overweight. According to the doctors surveyed, the main benefits of fiber consumption for people with diabetes are improvement in satiety level, increase in physical activity, reduction in HbA1C and glucose levels and reduction in dose and number of medicines to control blood glucose. Physicians also highlighted the need for greater awareness among both patients and doctors, of the role of dietary fiber in the management of Type 2 diabetes.