Supplementation of a high-carbohydrate breakfast with barley beta-glucan improves postprandial glycaemic response for meals but not beverages.Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2007; 16(1):16-24AP
There is growing support for the protective role of soluble fibre in type II diabetes. Soluble fibre beta-glucan found in cereal products including oats and barley may be the active component. There is evidence of postprandial blunting of blood glucose and insulin responses to dietary carbohydrates when oat soluble fibre is supplemented into the diet but few trials have been carried out using natural barley or enriched barley beta-glucan products. The aim of this trial was to investigate the postprandial effect of a highly enriched barley beta -glucan product on blood glucose, insulin and lipids when given with a high-CHO food and a high-CHO drink. 18 lean, healthy men completed a 4 treatment intervention trial comprising (i) high-CHO(food control), (ii) high-CHO(food+fibre), (iii) high-CHO(drink control), (iv) high-CHO(drink+fibre) where a 10g dose of barley beta-glucan fibre supplement (Cerogen) containing 6.31g beta-glucan was added to food and drink controls. There was an increase of glucose and insulin following all 4 treatments. Addition of the beta -glucan supplement significantly blunted the glycaemic and insulinaemic responses on the food (p<0.05) but not drink (p>0.05) treatments when compared to controls. The high-CHO breakfasts decreased total, LDL- and HDL-cholesterol from baseline to 60 mins postprandially but there were no differential effects of beta-glucan treatment on circulating lipids. We conclude that a high dose barley beta-glucan supplement can improve glucose control when added to a high-CHO starchy food, probably due to increased gastro-intestinal viscosity, but not when added to a high-CHO beverage where rapid absorption combined with decreased beta-glucan concentration and viscosity may obviate this mechanism.