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.
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