Glycaemic Response

Postprandial glycaemic response refers to an elevated blood glucose concentration after a meal. Foods yielding low postprandial glycaemic responses have been suggested to beneficial for the dietary prevention of type 2 diabetes. Oat β-glucan can attenuate the glycaemic response. The increase of intestinal viscosity due to high molecular weight β-glucan is crucial for achieving the positive effect of β-glucan on the peak blood glucose.

Tappy et al. (1996) observed that inclusion of oat β-glucan into breakfast cereals could reduce the postprandial glycaemic response by up to 50 %. At low levels (below 5 %) this appeared to be dose responsive. Levels above 5 % did not show large reductions in the glycaemic response, possibly indicating a saturation point. This may be an important when considering the appropriate levels of β-glucan inclusion in food systems.


Jenkins et al. (2002) found a depression of glycaemic index (GI) by high levels of β-glucan fibre in two functional foods tested in Type 2 diabetic patients. GI is defined as the incremental area under the postprandial blood glucose curve (change in blood glucose level 3 h after a meal) after the consumption of 50 g of (digestible) carbohydrates from a test food, divided by the area under the corresponding curve after a meal containing a similar amount of the reference food, normally white bread or glucose.


The reference is given the value 100, and the lower the response, the smaller the GI. The glycaemic indices of the prototype β-glucan enriched cereal (GI = 52) and bar (GI = 43) were significantly lower than the indices of commercial oat bran breakfast cereal (GI = 80) and white bread (GI = 100). Thus, blood glucose levels of diabetic and pre-diabetic individuals can be moderated by using β-glucan rich foods.

 

 

Livesey, G., Taylor, R., Hulsof, T., Howlett, J. (2008). Glycemic response and health, a systematic review and meta-analysis: the database, study characteristics, and macronutrient intakes. Am J Clin Nutr 87, pp. 223-236.

 

De Angelis, M., Rizzello, C.G., Alfonsi, G., Arnault, P., Cappelle, S., Di Cagno, R., Gobbetti, M. (2007). Use of sourdough lactobacilli and oat fibre to decrease the glycaemic index of white wheat bread. Br J Nutr 98, pp.1196-1205.

 

Granfeldt, Y., Nyberg, L., Björck, I. (2007). Muesli with 4 g oat beta-glucans lowers glucose and insulin responses after a bread meal in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr Online publication, 4th of April 2007.

 

Mäkeläinen, H., Anttila, H., Sihvonen, J., Hietanen, R.M., Tahvonen, R., Salminen, E., Mikola, M., Sontag-Strohm, T. (2007). The effect of beta-glucan on the glycemic and insulin index. Eur J Clin Nutr 61, 779-785.

 

Nilsson, A., Ostman, E., Preston, T., Björck, I. (2007). Effects of GI vs. content of cereal fibre of the evening meal on glucose tolerance at a subsequent standardized breakfast. Eur J Clin Nutr Online publication, 23rd of May 2007.

 

Panahi, S., Ezatagha, A., Temelli, F., Vasanthan, T., Vuksan, V. (2007). Beta-glucan from two sources of oat concentrates affect postprandial glycemia in relation to the level of viscosity. J Am Coll Nutr 26, pp. 639-644.

 

Tuomasjukka, S., Viitanen, M., Kallio, H. (2007). The glycaemic response to rolled oat is not influenced by the fat content. Br J Nutr 97, pp. 744-748.

 

Wood, P. (2007). Cereal β-glucans in diet and health. J Cereal Sci 46, pp. 230-238.

 

Tapola, N., Karvonen, H., Niskanen, L., Mikola, M., Sarkkinen, E. (2005). Glycemic responses of oat bran products in type 2 diabetic patients. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 15, pp. 255-261.

 

Hallfrisch, J., Schofield, D.J., Behall, K.M. (2003). Physiological responses of men and women to barley and oat extracts (NutrimX). II. Comparison of glucose and insulin responses. Cereal Chem 80, pp. 80-83.

 

Jenkins, A.L., Jenkins, D.J.A., Zdravkovic, U., Wursch, P., Vuksan, V. (2002). Depression of the glycaemic index by high levels of beta-glucan fibre in two functional foods tested in type 2 diabetes. Eur J Clin Nutr 56, pp. 622-628.

 

Mälkki, Y., Virtanen, E. (2001). Gastrointestinal effects of oat bran and oat gum: A review. Lebensm.-Wiss.u.Technol. 34, pp. 337-347.

 

Wood, P.J., Beer, M. U., Butler, G. (2000). Evaluation of the role of concentration and molecular weight of oat b-glucan in determining effect of viscosity on plasma glucose and insulin following an oral glucose load. Brit J Nutr, 84, pp. 19-23.

 

Wood, P.J., Beer, M.U. (1998). Functional Oat Products. In: Functional Foods; Biochemical and Processing Aspects, Mazza, J. (ed.), Technomic Publishing Co, Lancaster, USA 1998, pp.1-37.

 

Hallfrisch, J., Behall, K.M. (1997). Evaluation of foods and physiological responses to menus in which fat content was lowered by replacement with Oatrim. Cereal Foods World 43, pp. 100-103.

 

Pick, M.E., Hawrish, Z.J., Gee, M.I., Toth, E., Garg, M.L., Hardin, R.T. (1996). Oat bran concentrate bread products improve long-term control of diabetes; a pilot study. J Am Diet Assoc 96, pp. 1254-1261.

 

Tappy, L., Gügolz, E., Würsch, P. (1996). Effects of breakfast cereals containing various amounts of beta glucans fibres on plasma glucose and insulin responses in NIDDM subjects. Diabetes Care 19, pp. 831-834.

 

Hallfrisch, J., Schofield, D.J., Behall, K.M. (1995). Diets containing soluble oat extracts improve glucose and insulin responses of moderately hypocholesterolemic men and women. Am J Clin Nutr 61, pp. 379-384.

 

Braaten, J.T., Scott, F.W., Wood, P.J., Riedel, K.D.,Wolynetz, M.S., Brulé, D., Collins, M.W. (1994). High β-glucan oat bran and oat gum reduce postprandial blood glucose and insulin in subjects with and without type 2 diabetes. Diabetic Med 11, pp. 312-318.

 

Wood, P.J., Braaten, J.T., Scott, F.W., Riedel, K.D., Wolynetz, M.S., Collins, M.W. (1994). Effect of dose and modification of viscous properties of oat gum on plasma glucose and insulin following an oral glucose load. Brit J Nutr 72, pp. 731-743.

 

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Würsch, P., Pi-Sunyer, F.X. (1997) The role of viscous soluble fiber in the metabolic control of diabetes: a review with special emphasis on cereals rich in beta-glucan. Diabetes Care 20, pp. 1774-1780.