Dietary fibre food intake is related to a reduced risk of developing diabetes mellitus. However, the mechanism of this effect is still not clear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of commercial fibre cereals on the rate of gastric emptying, postprandial glucose response and satiety in healthy subjects.
Gastric emptying rate (GER) was measured by standardized real time ultrasonography. Twelve healthy subjects were assessed using a randomized crossover blinded trial. The subjects were examined after an 8 hour fast and after assessment of normal fasting blood glucose level. Satiety scores were estimated and blood glucose measurements were taken before and at 0, 20, 30, 40, 60, 80, 100 and 120 min after the end of the meal. GER was calculated as the percentage change in the antral cross-sectional area 15 and 90 min after ingestion of sour milk with corn flakes (GER1), cereal bran flakes (GER2) or wholemeal oat flakes (GER3).
The median value was, respectively, 42% for GER1, 33 % for GER2 and 51% for GER3. The difference between the GER after ingestion of bran flakes compared to wholemeal oat flakes was statistically significant (p = 0.023). The postprandial delta blood glucose level was statistically significantly lower at 40 min (p = 0.045) and 120 min (p = 0.023) after the cereal bran flakes meal. There was no statistical significance between the areas under the curve (AUCs) of the cereals as far as blood glucose and satiety were concerned.
The result of this study demonstrates that the intake of either bran flakes or wholemeal oat flakes has no effect on the total postprandial blood glucose response or satiety when compared to corn flakes. However, the study does show that the intake of cereal bran flakes slows the GER when compared to oat flakes and corn flakes, probably due to a higher fibre content. Since these products do not differ in terms of glucose response and satiety on healthy subjects, they should be considered equivalent in this respect.