Diabetes UK is funding new research to determine if fermentable carbohydrates found in foods like asparagus, garlic, chicory and Jerusalem artichokes could be used to help weight loss and prevent Type 2 diabetes.

The charity is funding dietitian Nicola Guess at Imperial College, London, to investigate the role fermentable carbohydrates could play in Type 2 diabetes prevention. The carbohydrate will be given to participants as a daily supplement during three periods of investigation, each examining different mechanisms involved in the prevention of Type 2 diabetes.

Sustained weight loss can delay and even prevent Type 2 diabetes and recent research has suggested that certain foods are good at stabilising blood glucose levels. Fermentable carbohydrates are an example as they release gut hormones that could reduce appetite and enhance insulin sensitivity, which could lead to improved blood glucose control and weight loss.

An easy way to reduce people’s risk

Nicola Guess said: "By investigating how appetite and blood glucose levels are regulated in people at high risk of Type 2 diabetes, it is hoped that we can find a way to prevent its onset. If successful, this study will be able to determine whether fermentable carbohydrates could provide the public with an effective and affordable health intervention to reduce an individual’s risk of developing diabetes."

Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, said: "Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 per cent of all those diagnosed with diabetes and, if left untreated, can lead to serious health complications including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and amputation.

"It is vital that more is done in the area of diabetes prevention to ensure people are less likely to face a future of ill health. It is unlikely that any single measure used on its own will bring about improved prevention of Type 2 diabetes, but we are constantly increasing our knowledge through research to provide people at high risk with an armoury of approaches that will help them choose what is most suitable for them. It’s hoped that the research being funded at Imperial College will help by aiming to develop an easy and affordable way to help people to reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and managing their blood glucose levels."