A large European study has found links between cereal fibre intake and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. The findings were backed by a meta-analysis of the scientific literature.

The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, reported results from the EPIC study, a long-term observational study of nearly 25,000 adults. Diets were assessed using a food
frequency questionnaire, while diagnoses of diabetes were collated between 1994 and 2005. The results showed that people with the highest intakes of cereal fibre were 28% less likely to develop
type 2 diabetes than people with the lowest intakes. Surprisingly, no significant association was found between fruit and vegetable fibre consumption and diabetes risk.

A literature review and meta-analysis conducted by the same authors backed these findings and revealed an additional relationship between a high magnesium intake and a low risk of type 2
diabetes. Wholegrain cereals are a rich source of magnesium. The authors concluded that cereal fibre and magnesium could be protective against diabetes.
For more information see
Schulze MB et al (2007). Fiber and magnesium intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes: A prospective study and meta-analysis. Archives of Internal Medicine. Vol 167, pg 956-965.

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