Ability to chew properly may improve blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes
A study, published in PLOS ONE, demonstrates that patients with type 2 diabetes (T2B) who have full chewing function have a blood glucose level that is significantly lower than patients whose ability to chew effectively is impaired.
The retrospective study looked at data gathered from 94 patients with T2D who had been seen at an outpatient clinic in a hospital in Istanbul, Turkey. The patients were divided into two groups. The first group included patients who had good “occlusal function”, i.e., enough teeth placed properly and making contact in such a way that a person can chew their food well. That group’s blood glucose level was 7.48. The second group couldn’t chew well, if at all, because they were lacking some or all of those teeth; their blood glucose level was almost 2% higher, at 9.42.
Experts suggest this is because nutrients that are important to reduce blood glucose levels include fibre, which is obtained through chewing appropriate foods. Chewing has also been reported to stimulate reactions in the intestine that lead to increased insulin secretion.
“Our findings show there is a strong association between mastication and controlling blood glucose levels among T2D patients,” said University of Buffalo researcher Mehmet A. Eskan. This study did not find any independent variables that could affect blood glucose levels among the subjects because there were no statistical differences among subjects regarding body mass index (BMI), sex, smoking status, medications, or infection as indicated by white blood cell count (WBC) at the baseline.