The influence of dietary fibre source and gender on the postprandial glucose and lipid response in healthy subjects

Matilda Ulmius, Anna Johansson, Gunilla Onning
European Journal of Nutrition 2009, 48 (7): 395-402

BACKGROUND: Consumption of soluble dietary fibre is correlated with decreased postprandial glucose and insulin responses and hence has beneficial effects on the metabolic syndrome.

AIM OF THE STUDY: To investigate the effects on postprandial glucose, insulin and triglyceride concentrations of meals enriched with soluble dietary fibres from oats, rye bran, sugar beet fibre or a mixture of these three fibres.

METHODS: Thirteen healthy human volunteers (6 men and 7 women, aged 20-28 years) were included in the study. The subjects came to the study centre once a week after an overnight fast to ingest test meals and a control meal in random order. The meals contained either oat powder (62 g, of which 2.7 soluble fibre), rye bran (31 g, of which 1.7 g soluble fibre), sugar beet fibre (19 g, of which 5 g soluble fibre), a mixture of these three fibres (74 g, of which 1.7 g soluble fibre from each source, giving 5 g soluble fibre) or no added fibre (control) and were all adjusted to contain the same total amount of available carbohydrates. Blood samples were drawn before and every 30 min up to 180 min after the meals.

RESULTS: Meals with rye bran gave a lower postprandial glucose peak when compared with the control meal, and this effect was more pronounced in women compared to men. Oat powder, containing a low amount of total fibre and a high amount of carbohydrates in liquid matrix, gave a higher incremental glucose peak concentration compared to rye bran and sugar beet fibre and higher insulin incremental area under curve compared to control. The oat powder also influenced the effects of the mixed meal, diminishing the glucose-lowering effects. Postprandial triglyceride levels tended to be higher after all fibre-rich meals, but only significant for oat powder and the mixed meal when compared with the control meal.

CONCLUSIONS: Postprandial glucose, insulin and triglyceride concentrations are influenced by dietary fibre-rich meals, depending on fibre source, dose of soluble and total fibre and possibly gender.

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