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Review of human studies investigating the post-prandial blood-glucose lowering ability of oat and barley food products


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Oat and barley foods have been shown to reduce human glycaemic response, compared to similar wheat foods or a glucose control. The strength of the evidence supporting the hypothesis that the soluble fibre, mixed linkage β-glucan, reduces glycaemic response was evaluated. A search of the literature was conducted to find clinical trials with acute glycaemic response as an end point using oat or barley products. Of the 76 human studies identified, 34 met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Dose response and ratio of β-glucan to available carbohydrate as predictors of glycaemic response were assessed. Meals provided 0.3-12.1 g oat or barley β-glucan, and reduced glycaemic response by an average of 48±33 mmol·min/l compared to a suitable control. Regression analysis on 119 treatments indicated that change in glycaemic response (expressed as incremental area under the post-prandial blood-glucose curve) was greater for intact grains than for processed foods. For processed foods, glycaemic response was more strongly related to the β-glucan dose alone (r(2)=0.48, P<0.0001) than to the ratio of β-glucan to the available carbohydrate (r(2)=0.25, P<0.0001). For processed foods containing 4 g of β-glucan, the linear model predicted a decrease in glycaemic response of 27±3 mmol·min/l, and 76% of treatments significantly reduced glycaemic response. Thus, intact grains as well as a variety of processed oat and barley foods containing at least 4 g of β-glucan and 30-80 g available carbohydrate can significantly reduce post-prandial blood glucose.European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 20 February 2013; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2013.25.
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Review of human studies investigating the post-prandial
blood-glucose lowering ability of oat and barley food products
SM Tosh
Oat and barley foods have been shown to reduce human glycaemic response, compared to similar wheat foods or a glucose
control. The strength of the evidence supporting the hypothesis that the soluble fibre, mixed linkage b-glucan, reduces glycaemic
response was evaluated. A search of the literature was conducted to find clinical trials with acute glycaemic response as an end
point using oat or barley products. Of the 76 human studies identified, 34 met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Dose response
and ratio of b-glucan to available carbohydrate as predictors of glycaemic response were assessed. Meals provided 0.3–12.1 g oat or
barley b-glucan, and reduced glycaemic response by an average of 48±33 mmol min/l compared to a suitable control. Regression
analysis on 119 treatments indicated that change in glycaemic response (expressed as incremental area under the post-prandial
blood-glucose curve) was greater for intact grains than for processed foods. For processed foods, glycaemic response was more
strongly related to the b-glucan dose alone (r
¼0.48, Po0.0001) than to the ratio of b-glucan to the available carbohydrate
¼0.25, Po0.0001). For processed foods containing 4 g of b-glucan, the linear model predicted a decrease in glycaemic response
of 27±3 mmol min/l, and 76% of treatments significantly reduced glycaemic response. Thus, intact grains as well as a variety of
processed oat and barley foods containing at least 4 g of b-glucan and 30–80 g available carbohydrate can significantly reduce
post-prandial blood glucose.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 20 February 2013; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2013.25
Keywords: glycaemic response; oat; barley; b-glucan
It has long been established that post-prandial glucose response
to carbohydrate meals is not determined by the amount of
available carbohydrate alone.
The proportions of different
nutrients, particularly protein and fat, as well as food
microstructure can affect the rate of glucose absorption. The
presence of soluble dietary fibre in carbohydrate foods also
influences the glycaemic response after a meal. Oat and barley
b-glucans have been widely studied for their health benefits,
including their ability to reduce post-prandial glucose alone and in
a wide variety of food formats.
The mechanism of action has been well established. Oat and
barley b-glucans, in their native state, are very high molecular-
weight polysaccharides that exhibit high viscosities at low
Consumption of viscous polysaccharides
increases the viscosity of the meal bolus in the stomach,
reduces mixing of the food with digestive enzymes and delays
gastric emptying. Increased viscosity also retards the absorption of
In vitro digestion studies demonstrate that b-glucan
slows the rate of starch digestion.
Owing to its solubility,
b-glucan is easily fermented by the gut microbiota, which
produces short-chain fatty acids, including acetate, propionate
and butyrate.
A study designed to keep viscosity in the small
intestine constant, while the b-glucan was fermented in the large
intestine, showed that slowed glucose absorption by viscosity
development in the gut was responsible for acute effects.
However, fermentation products may affect post-prandial glucose
at subsequent meals. After evening meals containing barley,
post-prandial glucose response to a standardized breakfast was
reduced and inversely correlated with colonic fermentation as
indicated by increased breath hydrogen.
It was also inversely
related to plasma butyrate and acetate concentrations.
Recently, the European Food Safety Authority, Panel on Dietetic
Products, Nutrition and Allergies issued an opinion that ‘reduction
of post-prandial glycaemic responses (as long as post-prandial
insulinaemic responses are not disproportionally increased) may
be a beneficial physiological effect’.
The panel recognized that a
cause and effect relationship between consumption of oat and
barley b-glucans and a reduction of post-prandial glycaemic
responses has been established. Based on six studies, the panel
concludes that ‘in order to obtain the claimed effect, 4 g of
b-glucans from oat or barley for each 30 g of available
carbohydrates should be consumed per meal’. This condition of
use is likely to be difficult for food processors to meet.
To aid in elaborating the strength of the evidence, a summary
of the human trials that have been undertaken, focusing on
glycaemic responses in relation to the b-glucan and available
carbohydrate doses, is presented here.
Outcome measures
Post-prandial glucose response is generally measured by determining
blood-glucose concentration several times over a 2 h interval after a test
meal is consumed and calculating the incremental area under the curve
(AUC). In two studies, the AUC was measured over 1 h
or 4 h,
but as
blood glucose returned to base line after 1 h in the first instance, it was felt
that the difference in time interval did not affect the measurement greatly,
Guelph Food Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Correspondence: Dr SM Tosh, Guelph Food Research Centre, Agriculture and
Agri-Food Canada, 93 Stone Road West, Guelph, Ontario N1G 5C9, Canada.
Received 3 May 2012; revised 20 November 2012; accepted 17 December 2012
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2013), 1–8
2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved 0954-3007/13
and for the second study a 2 h value was calculated. Although the
physiological response most frequently reported was area under the post-
prandial blood-glucose curve (AUC), some studies reported glycaemic
index (GI), which is AUC as a percentage of response to a standard glucose
drink or white bread test (GI ¼AUC
test meal
standard meal
Another useful measurement is the peak blood-glucose rise. Oat
b-glucan and other viscous soluble polysaccharides tend to slow the
initial blood-glucose absorption, resulting in a flatter peak and sustained
glucose uptake. Therefore, even when AUC is not decreased, the blood-
glucose uptake may be blunted, avoiding large fluctuations in blood
glucose and insulin.
Search strategy
A search of the literature was conducted on 14 November 2012 using the
search string ‘(oat* or barley) and (glycaem* or glycem* or (blood and
glucose))’ using the PubMed and SCOPUS search engines. The searches
returned 437 matches from PubMed and 602 matches from Scopus. From
this list, 79 human studies, published in English, were extracted based on
the titles and abstracts.
Inclusion criteria
Studies were included if they were controlled, randomized, blinded,
crossover or parallel human studies, which included information on
available carbohydrate dose, b-glucan or soluble fibre dose and post-
prandial blood-glucose response.
Where it was available, information concerning peak blood-glucose
response and insulin response was extracted from either graphs or tables.
Information on number of subjects, food format and food processing was
also collected.
Exclusion criteria
Studies were excluded if they did not have an appropriate control, used
subjects with type 2 diabetes (including non-insulin-dependent diabetes
mellitus), used low viscosity extracts or the b-glucan was deliberately
It has been demonstrated that depolymerization of b-glucan affects its
efficacy as related to post-prandial blood-glucose reduction.
10 treatments where the b-glucan molecular weight (MW) was reduced
deliberately to o250 kDa, either to demonstrate loss of efficacy or to
produce a low viscosity extract, were excluded from further
One paper included six treatments with high levels of
resistant starch in addition to b-glucan.
Only the treatments with low
levels of resistant starch were considered.
Data analysis
Extracted data were used to calculate change in AUC or GI compared to an
appropriate control. For 12 studies, AUC was calculated from tables or
Data extracted from the papers were tabulated. Ranges,
averages and s.d.’s were calculated. Various plots and regressions were
produced to represent the relationships among the parameters. Where a
glucose drink was used as a control for solid foods,
the data were
adjusted to simulate a hypothetical control of white bread with a GI of 71.
Statistical analysis
Statistical analyses were performed using Graph Prism v. 5.0 (GraphPad
Software, La Jolla, CA, USA). Regression analysis was performed to
determine significant relationships among b-glucan dose or bG/AC (mixed
linkage cereal b-glucan/available carbohydrate) ratio and the post-prandial
glucose response measures. One data point, with the highest b-glucan
dose, 14.1 g per serving and the highest ratio of bG/AC, was excluded
because it was an outlier and the dose was too high to be of commercial
Of the 76 studies reviewed in full, 34 studies that comply with
inclusion and exclusion criteria were included in the analysis: 18
on oat products, 10 on barley products and 6 including both oats
and barley foods. Thus, the analysis was conducted on a total of
119 treatments from these 34 studies. The treatments included 55
oat products and 64 barley products.
A solution containing 50 g of glucose was included as a control
in 15 of the studies. The mean AUC for the standard glucose
solutions was 184±31 mmol min/l (range 122–240 mmol min/l).
Glycaemic response in relation to available carbohydrate dose
Between 5 and 20 participants were recruited to determine the
post-prandial response. Table 1 summarizes the data extracted
from the studies that comply with the inclusion and exclusion
criteria. The dose of b-glucan in the treatments ranged from
0.3–12.1 g per meal and the dose of available carbohydrate
ranged from 25 to 100 g per meal. Of the 119 treatments, 74 used
50 g of available carbohydrate and the change in glycaemic
response ranged from 1.4 to 147 mmol min/l for these
treatments. This large variation shows that available carbohydrate
dose is not the dominant factor determining glycaemic response.
The range of b-glucan to available carbohydrate ratios (bG/AC)
was 0.004–0.305 with an average of 0.101±0.063.
For oats, 69% of treatments (38/55) reported significant
reduction in AUC and/or GI, and 71% of treatments (29/41)
reporting information on peak blood-glucose rise indicated a
significant reduction. One data set (four treatments) reported
significant differences in peak blood-glucose rise and insulin, but
did not specify for AUC or GI changes.
For barley, 64% of
treatments (41/64) demonstrated significant reductions in AUC
and/or GI, and 68% (21/31) of treatments reporting peak rise data
showed significant reductions. Oat and barley products were not
significantly different in terms of the average reduction in AUC
(P¼0.17) or GI (P¼0.19), therefore the data for oats and barley
were combined for the regression analyses.
Typically, foods with a GI 470 are considered high GI, whereas
those with GI o55 are considered low GI.
Therefore, for the
purposes of this paper, a reduction equivalent to the difference, or
change in GI 415 units, will be considered of biological relevance.
Back-calculating for a control glucose solution with an average
AUC of 184 mmol min/l, 15 GI units corresponds to a change in
AUC of 27 mmol min/l. For oat and barley combined, the average
reductions in AUC and GI were 48±33 and 31±17 mmol min/l,
respectively. These values represent substantial reductions and
reinforce the certainty that oat and barley b-glucans consistently
reduce post-prandial glucose. The treatments represented a wide
range of oat and barley formats using a number of food-
processing technologies. These products could serve as
prototypes of functional foods for the consumer market.
In Figure 1, each treatment was plotted on a grid, indicating
their relative b-glucan and available carbohydrate composition,
and whether there was a significant lowering of AUC. An
assumption was made by the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products,
Nutrition and Allergies
that there is a linear relationship between
bG/AC and efficacy. A dot is plotted to represent the condition of
use recommended by the panel. A product containing 4 g
b-glucan per 30 g of available carbohydrate and presumably any
product with a bG/AC ratio X0.133 shown by the dashed line
could make a claim. If efficacy was dependent on bG/AC ratio, a
diagonal pattern would be observed with non-significant
treatments falling below the line and significant treatments
above the line. This pattern is not apparent in the data;
moderate doses of b-glucan appear to be effective at higher
available carbohydrate doses.
All 29 of the treatments that are plotted above the dashed line
were effective in reducing post-prandial blood glucose. Addition-
ally, 51 products which also exhibited significant reduction fell
below the line. This suggests that the recommendation is overly
However, 76% of the treatments (48/63) with 4 g or more
b-glucan showed significant reduction in post-prandial glucose,
independent of their available carbohydrate content (Table 3).
The average carbohydrate dose for these 63 treatments was
Post-prandial blood-glucose lowering ability of oat and barley foods
SM Tosh
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2013) 1 – 8 &2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited
Table 1. Included studies using oat or barley products
First author Food format Subjects
Change in AUC
(mmol min/l)
Change in
GI values
Whole grain boiled barley 10 3.0 50 104 Yes 41
Pearled boiled barley 10 2.8 50 80 Yes 30
Whole grain pasta 10 3.0 50 10 No 5
Pearled barley pasta 10 2.8 50 24 No 14
Whole grain boiled barley 10 3.7 50 92 Yes 35
Whole grain boiled barley 10 3.8 50 102 Yes 43
Whole grain boiled barley 10 3.4 50 100 Yes 42
Whole grain boiled barley 10 3.1 50 98 Yes 42
Whole grain boiled barley 10 4.3
50 118 Yes 46
Pearled boiled barley 10 4.2
50 101 Yes 38
Whole grain boiled barley 10 8.4
50 128 Yes 49
Pearled boiled barley 10 8.9
50 111 Yes 41
Whole grain boiled barley 10 5.7
50 105 Yes 45
Whole grain boiled barley 10 4.9
50 111 Yes 47
Whole grain pasta 10 4.3
50 14 No 5
Pearled barley pasta 10 4.2
50 36 No 14
Oat tempe 13 1.8 25 79 Yes 37 Yes Yes
Barley tempe 13 1.7 25 147 Yes 70 Yes Yes
Pudding with oat flour 10 3.23
62 Yes Yes No
Pudding with oatmeal 10 3.23
49 Yes Yes No
Pudding with barley flour 10 12.1
101 Yes Yes Yes
Pudding with barley flakes 10 12.1
111 Yes Yes Yes
Oat bran muffins 18 0.3
3No NoNo
Oat bran muffins 18 0.9
5No NoNo
Oat bran muffins 18 3.7
26 No Yes Yes
Oat b-glucan isolate gel 10 11.3
50 64 Yes 48 Yes Yes
Oat bran cereal (high MW) 12 8.6
31 56 Yes 56 Yes
Oat bran cereal (medium MW) 12 8.3
31 46 Yes 46 Yes
Oat bran cereal (medium MW) 12 8.7
31 64 Yes 44 Yes
Oat bran cereal (medium MW) 12 8.4
31 65 Yes 27 Yes
Barley crackers 10 3.6 40 15.9 No 25.3 No Yes
Barley cookies 10 3.5 40 32.8 Yes 47.8 Yes Yes
Bread with barley fraction 8 1.8 50 18.7 No 0.8
Bread with barley fraction 8 3.3 50 37.9 No 18.3
Bread with barley fraction 8 4.9
50 41.9 Yes 27.8
Pasta with barley concentrate 9 1.5 50 21.4 No 19.3
Pasta with barley concentrate 9 3.0 50 28.5 No 25.7
Pasta with barley concentrate 9 4.4
50 35.4 No 31.9
Pasta with barley concentrate 9 6.1
50 47.2 No 42.6
Pasta with barley concentrate 9 7.7
50 57.1 Yes 51.6
De Angelis
Sourdough bread with oat fibre 15 3.9 50 35. Yes 18.3 Yes
Bread 40% waxy barley flour 9 5.3
50 22.9 No 12.7
Bread 40% non-waxy barley flour 9 4.8
50 46.1 Yes 25.6
Oat bran muesli 9 3.3
50 23.6 No 11 No No
Oat porridge 9 3.3
50 11.5 No 7No No
Boiled oat kernels 9 3.5
50 80.0 Yes 40 Yes No
Boiled barley kernels 10 4.5
50 73.6 Yes 35 Yes Yes
Boiled barley flour 9 4.7
50 36.2 Yes 61 Yes Yes
Boiled barley kernels 10 6.6
50 68.5 Yes 34 Yes Yes
Boiled barley flour 9 6.8
50 45.3 Yes 55 Yes Yes
Boiled barley kernels 10 6.2
50 79.9 Yes 29 Yes Yes
Oat bran muesli 19 3 50 16.7 No No No
Oat bran muesli 13 4
50 29 .3 Yes Yes Yes
Oat bran 20 3.7 83.9
71 Yes No Yes
Oat extract 20 3.8 83.9
44 Yes No Yes
Barley flour 20 7.4
49 Yes No Yes
Barley extract 20 5.2 83.9
60 Ye s Ye s Ye s
Oatmeal porridge 12 4
50 29.4 Yes 24
Wholemeal oatflakes 12 0.5 31.5 23 No No
Oat bran muesli 12 4
32.7 15.5
Yes Ye s
Oat bran fettucini 10 5.2
54.2 4.5 Yes Yes
Rye bread with oat b-glucan
10 5.4
50 48 Ye s Ye s Ye s
Oat bran muffin 11 8
50 79 Yes Yes
Previously frozen oat bran muffin 11 8
50 66 Yes Yes
Previously frozen oat bran muffin 11 8
50 48 Yes Yes
Oat bran muffin 11 12
50 73 Yes Yes
Previously frozen oat bran muffin 11 12
50 68 Yes Yes
Previously frozen oat bran muffin 11 12
50 63 Yes Yes
Bread with coarse boiled oats 10 2.1
50 15.6 Yes 6.7 Yes Yes
Wholemeal barley bread 10 2.8
50 13.7 No 5.1 No No
Bread with coarse boiled barley 10 2.4
50 29.5 Yes 16.7 Yes Yes
Bread with coarse scalded barley 10 2.5
50 38.5 Yes 26.3 Yes Yes
Barley bread (80% scalded kernels) 8 4.5
50 92.6 Yes 66.8 Yes Yes
Barley bread (40% scalded kernels) 8 2.8
50 54.4 Yes 34.4 No No
Wholemeal barley bread 8 4.1
50 11 No 1.2 No Yes
Sourdough wholemeal barley bread 8 4.0
50 29.2 No 15.8 No Yes
Scalded wholemeal barley bread 8 3.8
50 3 No 10.1 No Yes
Oat porridge 9 2.1
35.5 7.1 No 5.8 No No
Barley porridge 9 2.3
35.5 2.5 No 3No No
Barley porridge (50% PW
35.5 18.2 Yes 22.3 Yes Yes
Barley bread (50% PW
31.5 23.7 Yes 29 Yes Yes
Barley bread (80% PW
) excluded 9 14.1
31.5 31.9 Yes 39.1 Yes Yes
Post-prandial blood-glucose lowering ability of oat and barley foods
SM Tosh
&2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2013) 1 – 8
51.1±13.6 g, much higher than the recommended 30 g of
available carbohydrate. In fact, nearly half (43%) of products with
2–4 g b-glucan per meal showed significant reduction in post-
prandial blood glucose as well.
Regression analysis
To compare the predictive value of the ratio of b-glucan to
available carbohydrate versus b-glucan dose alone, regression
analyses against AUC were performed.
When the data were considered as a whole, neither the ratio nor
the dose data set passed the D’Agostino and Pearson omnibus
test of normality performed within the statistical software.
Examination of the data indicated that the whole boiled grains
gave markedly lower values than the processed foods, therefore
the data were divided into two sets. Subsequently, both the
processed and intact grain groups passed the normality tests. A
test for non-linear behaviour showed that the data did not exhibit
significant curvature, therefore a linear model was employed.
There was a large scatter in the data, but significant slopes of
relationships were observed. Statistical parameters are reported in
a Supplementary Table available at the European Journal of
Clinical Nutrition’s website.
Figure 2a shows the data for bG/AC plotted against glycaemic
response. The bG/AC ratio for processed foods was weakly
correlated with the AUC (Po0.0001, r
¼0.24). The low r
mean that there is a small chance that post-prandial glycaemic
response can be reliably predicted by the bG/AC ratio for a given
product. For all processed food treatments, the average bG/AC
ratio was 0.137±0.065. The intact grains had a much lower AUC
than the processed foods, including porridge. There was a
significant relationship between AUC and the bG/AC ratio
(P¼0.011, r
¼0.26) and average change in AUC of the intact
grains was 83±29.
The dashed line shows where products containing 4 g b-glucan
and 30 g available carbohydrate (bG/AC ¼0.133) would fall. All 29
treatments (27 processed and 2 intact kernals), with a bG/
AC40.133 significantly reduced glycaemic response. However,
55% (16 processed and 23 intact kernals) of treatments with bG/
ACo0.133 also showed significant reductions in post-prandial
blood glucose. Moreover, this suggests that the recommended
condition of use may be too stringent.
Figure 2b shows the dependence of glycaemic response on
b-glucan dose. The data for processed products show a significant
(Po0.0001) drop in AUC with increasing dose. Compared to bG/
AC ratio, b-glucan dose showed a stronger association with AUC
¼0.48). The regression predicts a reduction in AUC of
5.2±0.6 mmol min/l for each gram of b-glucan included in a
meal. The physiologically relevant reduction of 27 mmol min/l
was attained with a dose of 4.0 g b-glucan. On the graph, a dashed
line indicates a dose of 4.0 g b-glucan. To the right of the line, 75%
of the processed treatments (45/60) and 95% (21/22) of the intact
boiled barley treatments demonstrated a significant reduction in
AUC with an average reduction of 51±29 mmol min/l.
Peak blood-glucose rise
The development of viscosity in the gut caused by oat and barley
b-glucan tends to slow the absorption of glucose. As the post-
prandial blood-glucose curves tend to be low broad peaks, after
Table 1. (Continued )
First author Food format Subjects
Change in AUC
(mmol min/l)
Change in
GI values
Ma¨kela¨ inen
Oat bran drink 10 2 50 26.9 ? 16.3 Yes No
Oat bran drink 10 4
50 68.8 ? 41.7 Yes No
Previously frozen oat bran drink 10 4
50 58.9 ? 35.7 Yes No
Oat bran drink 10 6
50 60.6 ? 36.7 Yes No
Boiled oat kernels 12 2.9
50 40.4 No 15
Boiled barley kernels 12 2.9
50 76.8 Yes 51
Bread with barley fibre 12 6.3
50 29.4 No 7
Barley porridge 12 2.6
50 10.8 No 12
Barley bread (50%) 10 1.1 30 15.2
No 16.8 No
Barley bread (35% PW
No 25.2 Yes
Barley bread (50% PW
30 17.8
Yes 35.5 Yes
Barley bread (75% PW
30 26
Yes 45.3 Yes
Glucose drink with oat extract 11 6
75 39 Yes
Oat porridge (high MW) 12 4
43 37 No Yes
Oat crisp bread (medium MW) 12 4
64 11 No No
Oat granola (high MW) 12 4
44 29 No Yes
Oat pasta (medium MW) 12 4
42 7No No
Oat grannola product (high MW ) 12 6.2
38 35 Yes Yes
Oat grannola product (medium MW ) 12 6.2
38 28 Yes Yes
Oat grannola product (high MW ) 12 6.3
60 33 Yes Yes
Oat grannola product (medium MW ) 12 6.3
60 0 No No
Barley chapattis 8 2 50 1.4 No 0 No No
Barley chapattis 8 4.1
50 40.9 Yes 43 Yes No
Barley chapattis 8 6
50 16.3 No 16 No No
Barley chapattis 8 7.8
50 48.3 Yes 47 Yes No
Barley porridge (high fibre) 10 2.7 50 112 Yes 61 Yes
Barley porridge (medium fibre) 10 2.7 50 105 Yes 57 Yes
Tos h
Oat bran muffin (medium MW) 10 4
50 26 No
Oat bran muffin (medium MW) 10 4
50 44 Yes
Oat bran muffin (high MW) 10 4
50 50 Yes
Oat bran muffin (medium MW) 10 8
50 49 Yes
Oat bran muffin (medium MW) 10 8
50 74 Yes
Oat bran muffin (high MW) 10 8
50 76 Yes
Beverage with oat bran 18 5
75 40 No 40 Yes
Oat bran porridge 9 8.8
60 54 Yes 38
Cream of wheat þoat b-glucan isolate 9 8.6
60 57 Yes 40
Barley pasta 5 12
100 92 Yes Yes No
Abbreviations: AC, available carbohydrate; bG, mixed linkage cereal b-glucan; MW, molecular weight. The italicized row indicates the excluded data point.
means significant reduction detected (Po0.05).
Treatment included in table 3.
Soluble fibre measured.
1 g AC/kg body weight, average given.
1hAUC data
PW—high b-glucan, prowashonupana variety. The italized row indicates the excluded data point.
Post-prandial blood-glucose lowering ability of oat and barley foods
SM Tosh
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2013) 1 – 8 &2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited
consumption of oat and barley foods, peak blood-glucose rise is
often a more sensitive measure of efficacy than AUC or GI. Peak
blood-glucose rise was reported for 72 treatments (41 for oat and
31 for barley) (Table 2). In these studies, 69% of the treatments
had a peak blood-glucose rise significantly smaller than the
control meal.
Of the 43 treatments with at least 4 g of b-glucan where peak
rise was reported, 81% (35/43) significantly reduced the peak
blood-glucose rise (Table 3). The available carbohydrate dose
ranged from 30 to 100 g. This result is further evidence of the
ability of moderate doses of oat and barley b-glucan to modulate
glucose absorption, independent of available carbohydrate dose.
Insulinaemic response
Information concerning the insulin response was given in tables or
graphs for 56 of the 119 treatments. The insulin did not rise
significantly in any of the measurements. This shows that ‘post-
prandial insulinaemic responses are not disproportionally
For treatments using 4 g b-glucan or more, 72%
(18/25) processed foods and all four intact barley treatments
confirmed a significant reduction in area under the insulin curve
(Table 3).
Figure 1. Plot of b-glucan dose against available carbohydrate dose
for included treatments. Whether a treatment significantly reduced
AUC or GI (J), or not ( ) is indicated. Dot represents b-glucan and
available carbohydrate ratio recommended in condition of use, and
the line shows the cutoff for products with a ratio of 4 g b-glucan
per 30 g of available carbohydrate (0.133).
Figure 2. Relationship between (a) ratio of b-glucan/available
carbohydrate (bG/AC) or, (b)b-glucan dose and post-prandial
blood-glucose responses (AUC). Processed (J) and intact grain
(&) treatments are indicated. The solid line is a trendline with the
95% confidence limits shown as dotted lines. The dashed line
represents the cutoff point for (a) ratio 4 g bG/30 g AC ¼0.133, or (b)
4g b-glucan.
Table 2. Attributes of oat and barley foods included in analysis
Oats Barley Combined
Average b-glucan
dose (g)
5.4±2.9 4.7±2.5 5.0±2.7
Average AC (g) 51.7±13.6 49.1±12.8 50.3±13.2
Average bG/AC
0.113±0.072 0.090±0.052 0.101±0.063
Treatments (no.
55 64 119
No. of significant
38 (69%) 41 (64%) 79 (66%)
17 (31%) 23 (36%) 40 (34%)
AUC change
(mmol min/l)
7.1 – 80 1.4 – 147 7.1 – 147
(mmol min/l)
41±24 54±39 48±33
GI change (no.
18 47 65
Range 6 – 48 10 – 70 10 – 70
Average 27±14 33±19 31±17
Peak rise (no.
41 31 72
No. of significant
29 (71%) 21 (68%) 50 (69%)
12 (29%) 10 (32%) 22 (31%)
Insulin Change (no.
23 33 56
No. of significant
10 (43%) 24 (73%) 34 (61%)
13 (57%) 9 (27%) 22 (39%)
Abbreviations: AUC, area under the curve; bG, mixed linkage cereal
b-glucan; GI, glycaemic index. Treatments containing 0.3–12.1 g b-glucan
per meal.
Post-prandial blood-glucose lowering ability of oat and barley foods
SM Tosh
&2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2013) 1 – 8
The 119 treatments included in the review used 92 processed
products bread, pasta, hot and cold breakfast cereals, beverages
and other food products as b-glucan sources, and represented a
wide variety of processing conditions, as well as 25 intact oat and
barley grains.
The regression analysis indicates that for processed products
glycaemic response is more strongly dependent on b-glucan dose
than the ratio of bG/AC. Although there is evidence that glycaemic
response depends on the amount of starch in a meal,
it also
depends on the characteristics of the starch. Resistant starch can
lower the glycaemic responses
as does an increase in slowly
digestible starch
or an increase in the amylose to amylopectin
Thus, simply considering the bG/AC ratio is too simplistic
and adds error to the model.
The statistical analysis predicts a reduction of
5.2±0.6 mmol min/l in AUC for each gram of b-glucan added
to a processed product, or 8.4±2.7 mmol min/l for intact oat and
barley treatments as indicated by the slopes of the trendlines in
Figure 2b. The dose at which the model predicts a physiologically
relevant decrease of 27 mmol min/l (equivalent to 15 GI units)
was 4.0 g b-glucan for processed products. All of the intact oat and
barley treatments reduced AUC by more than 27 mmol min/l
compared to the control.
Table 3 shows the characteristics of the 72 treatments from 27
studies, which contain at least 4 g of b-glucan. Products containing
at least 4 g of oat or barley b-glucan significantly reduced
glycaemic response in 76% of the treatments tested. Peak
blood-glucose rise was significantly reduced in 79% of the
reported observations. The average reduction in AUC was
45±24 mmol min/l for processed products and
99±20 mmol min/l for intact boiled grains. The products
considered had an average carbohydrate dose of 51.1±13.6 g
(range 30–100 g).
Implications for persons with type 2 diabetes
Although studies conducted on subjects with type 2 diabetes
were not included in the statistical analysis, the outcomes of those
studies suggest that type 2 diabetics would benefit from
consuming oat and barley foods as well. A study where type 2
diabetics consumed 3 g of b-glucan in muesli containing extruded
oat bran
resulted in a 204 mmol min/l reduction in AUC
(Po0.01) compared to a whole wheat cereal. Research
conducted on a commercial oat bran breakfast cereal (3.7 g
b-glucan per serving), a b-glucan-enriched breakfast cereal (7.3 g
b-glucan per serving) and a cereal bar (6.2 g b-glucan per serving)
showed that they had significantly lower GI values compared to
white bread.
The b-glucan in the oat products tested reduced
the AUC (180 min) of type 2 diabetic subjects by 74, 372 and
332 mmol min/l when they consumed the oat bran breakfast
cereal, high b-glucan cereal and bar, respectively. A dose-response
study using extruded breakfast cereals with 4.0, 6.0 or 8.4 g b-
glucan per serving showed significant reductions in both glucose
and insulin response.
The 4.0 g dose reduced the AUC and peak
blood-glucose rise by 33% (Po0.05) compared to a whole wheat-
based continental breakfast, whereas the 6.0 and 8.4 g of doses
reduced glycaemic response by 60% (Po0.001). Therefore,
although incorporating more b-glucan into the diets of healthy
individuals is effective in maintaining healthy blood-glucose
levels, it appears that it also ameliorates blood-glucose levels in
persons with type 2 diabetes.
Food formats
Intact boiled kernels were used in six studies, as is, fermented,
pearled or baked into wheat bread.
Where the
integrity of the kernel was maintained, 96% (21/22) treatments
showed efficacy with an average reduction in AUC of
99±20 mmol min/l. The glycaemic response to intact boiled
barley was shown to be related to total dietary fibre and slowly
digestible starch, rather than b-glucan content.
This difference
from processed products suggests that, for cooked kernels, the
intact cell walls act as a physical barrier to starch-degrading
The effects of food processing are frequently questioned in
regard to maintaining the efficacy of soluble fibre in oat and
barley products. A wide variety of food formats were used in the
clinical studies considered here. Foods were divided into different
categories based on the type of processing they received and
treatments, which provided at least 4 g of oat or barley b-glucan,
were assessed. Raw flours, flakes and bran mixed into beverages
or puddings were used in four of the experiments
and 75%
demonstrated effectiveness with an average change in AUC of
75±33 mmol min/l (Table 1). All seven of the treatments that
used 44gb-glucan from isolates or extracts, significantly reduced
the glycaemic response with an average reduction of
58±39 mmol min/l.
This may be because it is easier to
achieve higher concentrations of b-glucan in a meal. The dose for
these studies was 4–11.3 g per meal. Porridge is considered a
minimally processed food, and often thought to be better than
more highly processed foods. However, 6 of the 12 porridge
products studied contained less than 4 g b-glucan. Of those that
contained at least 4 g b-glucan, 83% significantly lowered the
glycaemic response, with an average reduction in AUC of
38±10 mmol min/l.
Thus, porridges were not
particularly better than other products. Granola, muesli and
breakfast cereal are products where the moisture content is
kept relatively low during processing, and hydration of the b-
glucan may be inhibited. For cereal products containing at least
4gb-glucan, 82% of test meals showed significant results with an
average change in AUC of 32±15 mmol min/l.
Muffin batter has a higher water content allowing b-glucan to
better solubilize, and disperses through the crumb.
muffins with at least 4 g b-glucan, 92% (11/12) of the treatments
significantly reduced blood glucose with an average reduction of
60±16 mmol min/l.
There were 26 tests run on oat and
barley breads, which was the largest group of food products.
Despite concerns that b-glucan may be partially degraded by
enzyme activity during bread production,
64% of bread
products containing at least 4 g b-glucan (9/14) showed significant
decreases in glycaemic response with an average AUC reduction
Table 3. Attributes of oat and barley foods with at least 4 g b-glucan
Processed Intact grain
Number of treatments 63 9
b-glucan dose (g) 6.6±2.5 6.0±1.7
AC dose (g) 51.1±13.6 50.0
bG/AC ratio 0.137±0.060 0.078±0.030
Change in AUC (mmol min/l) 45±24 99±20
Significant treatments 48 (76%) 9 (100%)
Non-significant treatments 15 (24%) 0
Peak rise
Significant treatments 31 (79%) 4 (100%)
Non-significant treatments 8 (21%) 0
Insulinaemic response
Significant treatments 18 (72%) 4 (100%)
Non-significant treatments 7 (28%) 0
Abbreviations: AC, available carbohydrate; AUC, area under the curve; bG,
mixed linkage cereal b-glucan.
Post-prandial blood-glucose lowering ability of oat and barley foods
SM Tosh
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2013) 1 – 8 &2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited
of 29±13 mmol min/l.
In pasta products, where
depolymerization has also been observed,
three of the eight
tests showed significant reductions.
Therefore, the main
concern with regard to the effects of processing on efficacy is
maintaining the MW of the b-glucan.
Relation to viscosity development in the gut
Five of the studies reported viscosity of an in vitro digestion
extract in addition to physiological data.
Samples of the
foods used in the clinical trials were treated with digestive
enzymes, with appropriate pH changes at 37 1C in a shaking water
bath. The liquid containing the soluble b-glucan was removed by
centrifugation and the viscosity of the extract was measured. The
sample to buffer ratio was doubled in Regand experiments.
account for this difference in concentration, the 4.4th root of
viscosity values was used because Ren et al.
showed that a
doubling in concentration results in an exponential increase in
viscosity of that order.
The control whole wheat products (muffins, crispbread, pasta,
granola and cereal) all had low viscosity extracts (Figure 3). The oat
products were modified to change the b-glucan content,
solubility, MW and processing conditions which resulted in a
range of extract viscosities from 1.2 to 2900 mPa s. The glycaemic
response for the control and oat pastas was lower than for the
other test foods, 96 and 89 mmol min/l, respectively. Pasta is
known to have lower GI than other food products,
because of its compact microstructure, which restricts enzyme
access to starch.
For the other 33 meals, the AUC ranged from
175 mmol min/l for whole wheat muffins and granola to
53 mmol min/l for extruded oat bran cereal, with 8.6 g high MW
b-glucan per meal. A significant linear relationship was found
between AUC and log(viscosity) (r
¼0.69, Po0.0001). For each
decade of increase in viscosity, the model predicts a decrease in
AUC of 32±4 mmol min/l. This correlation between viscosity and
reduction in glycaemic response supports the hypothesis that b-
glucan influences blood-glucose concentrations by increasing
viscosity in the upper gut.
The results of 119 treatments from 34 publications were reviewed
to determine the dose of oat or barley b-glucan necessary to
achieve a consistent post-prandial blood-glucose lowering effect.
The b-glucan content ranged from 0.3 to 12.1 g, and the available
carbohydrate content ranged from 30 to 100 g, resulting in a
bG/AC range of 0.004–0.305. The statistical analysis, as indicated
by the correlation coefficients (r
values), shows that efficacy was
more strongly related to b-glucan content alone than to the ratio
of bG/AC. This is reassuring, as oat and barley foods are often
eaten as part of a meal including additional carbohydrates. Based
on the data analysed, it is suggested that intact cooked or
fermented grains containing at least 3 g b-glucan per meal is
sufficient to significantly lower glycaemic response. Processed oat
or barley foods, where the b-glucan is soluble and has a MW
4250 000 g/mol, containing at least 4 g b-glucan per meal is
sufficient to reduce post-prandial by AUC 27±3 mmol min/l for
meals with B30–80 g of available carbohydrate. This reduction in
glycaemic response is sufficient to be considered a physiologically
relevant effect.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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Post-prandial blood-glucose lowering ability of oat and barley foods
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Supplementary Information accompanies the paper on European Journal of Clinical Nutrition website (
Post-prandial blood-glucose lowering ability of oat and barley foods
SM Tosh
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2013) 1 – 8 &2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited
... The effect of cereal betaglucan on post-prandial glycemia is approved as a health claim by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for products containing 4 g beta-glucan per 30 g available carbohydrates (16). Even so, the amount of beta-glucan giving a reduction in post-prandial glycemic response has been discussed (17). Furthermore, while the effect of cereal beta-glucan on postprandial glycemic response is well established, its potential to modulate glycemic response at subsequent meals has recently been investigated. ...
... Interestingly, only the meal with the medium amount of beta-glucan (3.2 g) significantly reduced both blood glucose and insulin levels after the OGTT. Our results indicate that the beneficial effects of beta-glucan on glycemic regulation the following day are not dependent on viscosity, and can be achieved with lower doses than those set by EFSA for reduction of post-prandial glycemic response, which also have been suggested by others (17). ...
Full-text available
Intake of soluble fibers including beta-glucan, is known to improve post-prandial glycemic response. The mechanisms have been attributed to the viscous gel forming in the stomach and small intestine, giving a longer absorption time. However, recent evidence suggests a link between intake of beta-glucan and improved glycemic regulation at subsequent meals through the gut microbiota. We investigated the short-term effect of granola with different amounts of cereal beta-glucan on glycemic response and gut microbiota. After a two-week run-in period (baseline), fourteen healthy, normal weight adults completed a dose-response dietary crossover study. Different amounts of cereal beta-glucan (low: 0.8 g, medium: 3.2 g and high: 6.6 g) were provided in granola and eaten with 200 ml low-fat milk as an evening meal for three consecutive days. Blood glucose and insulin were measured fasted and after an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) the following day, in addition to peptide YY (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide (GLP-2), fasting short chain fatty acids (SCFA) in blood, breath H 2 , and gut microbiota in feces. Only the intervention with medium amounts of beta-glucan decreased blood glucose and insulin during OGTT compared to baseline. Fasting PYY increased with both medium and high beta-glucan meal compared to the low beta-glucan meal. The microbiota and SCFAs changed after all three interventions compared to baseline, where acetate and butyrate increased, while propionate was unchanged. Highest positive effect size after intake of beta-glucan was found with Haemophilus , followed by Veillonella and Sutterella . Furthermore, we found several correlations between different bacterial taxa and markers of glycemic response. In summary, intake of granola containing 3.2 g cereal beta-glucan as an evening meal for three consecutive days reduced the glycemic response after an OGTT 0-180 min and changed gut microbiota composition. Since we cannot rule out that other fiber types have contributed to the effect, more studies are needed to further explore the effect of cereal beta-glucan on glycemic regulation. Clinical Trial Registration [ ], identifier [NCT03293693].
... INTRODUCTION β-glucan, a viscous soluble dietary fibre found naturally in oats and barley, has several potentially beneficial physiological effects including reducing postprandial glycaemic responses (PPGR) [1,2] and serum cholesterol [3][4][5]. In 2010, the ability of β-glucan to reduce PPGR was established in a scientific opinion by a European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel review of six human intervention studies [6][7][8][9][10][11] that concluded that 4 g of either oat β-glucan (OBG) or barley β-glucan (BBG) per 30 g available carbohydrates (avCHO) is required to obtain a consistent reduction in PPGR [12]. ...
Full-text available
To determine the minimum amount of oat β-glucan (OBG) required to reduce glycaemic responses (MinDose), we conducted a systematic review and meta-regression analysis of acute, crossover, single-meal feeding trials that examined the effects of adding OBG or oat bran to a carbohydrate-containing test-meal versus a control test-meal containing an equivalent amount of available-carbohydrate (avCHO) from the same or similar source. Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Library were searched up to 18 August 2021. The primary outcome was glucose incremental-area-under-the-curve (iAUC). Secondary outcomes included insulin iAUC, and glucose and insulin incremental peak-rise (iPeak). Two independent reviewers extracted data. Results were expressed as ratio-of-means (RoM) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Linear associations were assessed by random effects meta-regression. MinDose was defined as the dose at which the upper 95% CI of the regression line cut the line of no effect (i.e., RoM = 1). Fifty-nine comparisons (n = 340) were included; 57 in healthy subjects without diabetes and two in subjects with diabetes; 24 high-MW (>1000 kg/mol), 22 medium-MW (300–1,000 kg/mol), and 13 low-MW (<300 kg/mol). In healthy subjects without diabetes the associations between OBG dose and glucose iAUC and iPeak were linear (non-linear p value >0.05). MinDoses for glucose iAUC for high-MW, medium-MW and low-MW OBG, respectively, were estimated to be 0.2 g, 2.2 g and 3.2 g per 30 g avCHO; MinDoses for glucose iPeak were less than those for iAUC. Insufficient data were available to assess MinDose for insulin, however, there was no evidence of a disproportionate increase in insulin. More high-quality trials are needed to establish MinDose in individuals with diabetes.
... Some of the effect of α-CD may also be related to a reduction in intestinal transit time. As a soluble dietary fiber, it prolongs the mixing of the meal with the digestive enzymes and delays the gastric emptying and therefore retards the absorption of glucose [22,31]. ...
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Purpose Enrichment of wheat bread with either α-cyclodextrin (α-CD) or an inclusion complex of hydroxytyrosol (HT) and α-CD was performed to examine potential postprandial benefits. Methods Ten healthy normoglycaemic adults were provided with either a glucose solution (reference food, GS), white wheat bread (WB), wheat bread enriched with α-CD (α-CDB) or wheat bread enriched with HT/α-CD complex ((HT + α-CD)B), with 1-week intervals in amounts that yielded 50 g of available carbohydrates. Venous blood samples were collected before consumption and at 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120 and 180 min, postprandially. Glycaemic, insulinaemic and appetite hormone responses as well as glycaemic index (GI) and subjective appetite ratings were evaluated. Results Both enriched breads were characterized as low GI foods (α-CDB:49.7, (HT + α-CD)B:40.0) and presented similar reduction in glucose, insulin and GLP-1 responses. Significant differences were found in glucose values 45 min after (HT + α-CD)B consumption compared to α-CDB (P < 0.05) as well as in serum ghrelin, 120 min postprandially, between (HT + α-CD)B and WB in (− 90.55 ± 29.17 and 16.53 ± 21.78 pg/dL, respectively, P < 0.05). Neither of the enriched breads prevailed regarding the induced self-reported satiety. However, their consumption led to a lower desire for the next meal compared to WB. Conclusion Enrichment of bread with α-CD resulted in positive effects on postprandial glycaemia and induced satiety. Incorporation of encapsulated HT offered similar overall acceptability, due to the bitter taste-masking effect provided by α-CD, and a slightly additional positive effect in postprandial glycaemia and satiety. The development of foods with favorable metabolic effects is of great importance for the prevention of chronic diseases. The study was prospectively registered in (NCT04725955, date: 27th January 2021).
... A recent study also demonstrated that soluble ber can suppress α-amylase activity in in vitro starch hydrolysis via non-competitive means (52). Consequently, a lower postprandial blood glucose level was attained with subsequently reduced insulin secretion and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) levels (32). ...
Background: Melon Manis Terengganu (MMT) peel has a high dietary fiber content, but there is no data examining its health benefits in adults at risk of type 2 diabetes. The objective of the study was to evaluate whether consumption of MMT peel powder improves glycemic response, satiety, and food intake in adults at risk of type 2 diabetes. Methods: An open-label, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover design trial was conducted among adults (n = 30, ages 18–59 y) at risk of type 2 diabetes. They consumed Formulation 3 (formulated MMT peel powder) [A] and control (glucose) [B] with study breakfast based on randomly assigned treatment sequences (AB, BA) established by Research Randomizer ( Capillary blood glucose and perceived satiety were determined at baseline (0 min), 30, 60, 90 and 120 min, followed by a post-intervention food intake measurement. Results: Respondents (n = 30) who consumed Formulation 3 had a significantly lower blood glucose 2-hour incremental area under the curve (iAUC) of 134.7 ± 44.5 mmol/L*min and maximum concentration (CMax) of 7.2 ± 1.1 mmol/L with relative reduction of 26.8% and 13.3% respectively, when compared with control (p < 0.001). However, the two-way repeated measures analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed no significant time and group*time effects in blood glucose levels after controlling confounding factors (p > 0.05). Besides, significantly lower perceived satiety, energy and fat intake as well as higher fiber intake were also observed in the intervention group compared with the placebo group (p < 0.05). There were no marked side effects associated with the ingestion of the test products. Conclusions: Short-term consumption of formulated MMT peel powder may have a positive impact on glycemic response (iAUC and CMax), satiety, and food intake in adults at risk of type 2 diabetes with the potential to be utilized as a functional beverage. Medium-to long-term clinical trial is warranted to determine whether taking this formulated MMT peel powder on a daily basis has an influence on health outcomes. Trial registration: Identifier: NCT05298111. Registered 28/03/2022.
... Soluble dietary fiber in foods also influences the glycemic response after a meal [32,33]. The consumption of intact grains containing at least 4 g of β-glucan and 30-80 g of available carbohydrate is reportedly required to reduce postprandial blood glucose [34]. In addition, studies reporting on the postprandial blood glucose reduction effect of ingesting barley and brown rice also confirmed the effect of ingestion of 100% barley and 100% brown rice, and not mixed grains with WR [35,36]. ...
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This study evaluates whether blood glucose response differs upon consuming rice cooked in a carbohydrate (carb)-reducing rice cooker. Rice cooked this way exhibited 19% reduced total carbohydrate (34.0 ± 0.3 vs. 27.6 ± 0.9 g/100 g rice) and 20% reduced total calorie (149.0 ± 1.0 vs. 120.8 ± 3.7 kcal/100 g rice) contents. We measured the blood glucose response (at 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, and 120 min) in 13 healthy participants after consuming 6 different rice types: regular white rice (regular WR, 50 g of available carbohydrate (AC)), low-carb WR with equivalent weight as regular WR (low-carb WR (EW)), low-carb WR with equivalent carb as regular WR (low-carb WR (EC), regular mixed-grain rice (regular MR), low-carb MR (EW) as regular MR, and low-carb MR (EC) as regular MR. All rice samples were prepared in an electric carb-reducing rice cooker. Postprandial blood glucose, sensory, and appetite were assessed after each test meal. The incremental area under the curve of 15 and 30 min after rice consumption was significantly lower in low-carb WR (EW) than that in regular WR. These results suggest possible health benefits of low-carb WR in reducing early postprandial spikes in blood glucose level without significant differences in satiety and satisfaction.
Barley is a fiber and starch rich crop. Historically, barley was used as a human nourishment supply. More recently, barley has mainly been used for animal feed formulation, one-third for malting and only a 2% has been used as food ingredient directly. Beneficial effects associated with barley inclusion in diet have been described. It can decrease the glycemic index (GI) and can be used for body weight and cardiac diseases control. Whole barley has also a positive effect in modulating of gut microbiota. Beer spent grain (BSG), representing a solid by-product of beer production, is a high value raw material with good nutritional quality and bioactive carbohydrate composition. Currently, BSG are underutilized materials with the great potential of having a second life as excellent source of isolated ingredients, particularly high fiber and protein for human consumption. Despite being challenging, the recovery of food industry by-products is necessary for reliving the environmental impact of the food production chain and reduce pollution. The positive effect on human health associated with the consumption of barley, alongside the potential recovery of barley waste-streams, make barley a value ingredient in sustainable formulated products and food supplements. Two developmental pathways can be identified in the use of barley as a sustainable food ingredient. The development of approaches for sustainable recovery of barley based by products and the selection of barley able to grow as perennial crops.
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Oat has been recognized for its health-promoting fiber, β-glucan, while protein-rich faba bean has remained underutilized in Nordic countries despite its good nutritional quality. This research investigated the functionality of oat fiber concentrate and faba bean protein concentrate in plant-based substitutes for minced meat (SMs). The resulting product aimed at mimicking the mechanical and physicochemical characteristics of beef minced meat (BM) and its applications (i.e., fried and burger patty). In this regard, the mechanical properties (e.g., chewiness, Young's modulus) of original/fried SMs were comparable to or higher than those of original/fried BM. SM patties (45% SMs) were structurally weaker than beef burger patties (100% BM). The rheological analysis showed that the presence of oat fiber concentrate increased the gel-like properties of the blend, which correlated with the overall strength of original SMs (e.g., Young's modulus). The results suggested that SMs could be used as BM for the preparation of vegetarian meat-like products.
In the present study, production of two isomers (cis-9, trans-11 and trans-10, cis-12) of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) by Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. Lactis BB12 was investigated in organic and conventional milk in the presence of barley derived β-glucan. Fatty acid profile, acidification profile, cell enumeration and lactose content were determined for fermented conventional and organic milk, before and after 30 h fermentation in 30 °C. Viscometery and sensory evaluations were also performed. The results showed higher counts of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. Lactis BB12, and viscosity in organic milk. Also, organic fermented milk offered higher CLA as well as polyunsaturated fatty acids values and a lower level of saturated fatty acids in comparison to conventional fermented milk. Cis-9, trans-11 CLA, trans-10, cis-12 CLA and polyunsaturated fatty acids values, bacterial count and viscosity in organic milk containing β-glucan were 28%, 39%, 33%, one log CFU/mL and 59% higher than the samples without β-glucan, respectively. Although these results were obtained for conventional milk, the variation percentage in the organic milk was significantly more than the conventional milk. In addition, the total lactose content in organic and conventional milk containing β-glucan was 19% and 12% lower than the samples without prebiotic.
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Cereal Chem. 79(3):445-454 Fermentation by human fecal bacteria of fractions of wheat bran pre- pared by preprocessing technology were examined and compared with a β-glucan-rich oat bran and a purified β-glucan (OG). The wheat fractions were essentially a beeswing bran (WBA), mainly insoluble dietary fiber, and an aleurone-rich fraction (WBB) containing more soluble fiber and some β-glucan (2.7%). The oat bran (OB) had more endosperm and was very rich in β-glucan (21.8%). Predigestion of WBB and OB to mimic the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract gave digested wheat bran fraction B (WBBD) and digested oat bran (OBD), respectively. These predigested fractions were fermented in a batch technique using fresh human feces under anaerobic conditions. Changes in pH, total gas and hydrogen produc- tion, short chain fatty acids (SCFA), and both soluble and insoluble β- glucan and other polysaccharide components, as determined from analysis of monosaccharide residues, were monitored. Fractions showed increasing fermentation in the order WBA < WBBD < OBD < OG. Variations in SCFA production indicated that microbial growth and metabolism were different for each substrate. Polysaccharide present in the supernatant of the digests had disappeared after 4 hr of fermentation. Fermentability of oat and wheat β-glucan reflected solubility differences, and both sources of β-glucan were completely fermented in 24 hr. Although the overall patterns of fermentation indicated the relative amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber, the anatomical origin of the tissues played a major role, presumably related to the degree of lignification and other association with noncarbohydrate components.
Background: Various botanical and structural characteristics of starchy food modify the postprandial glucose and insulin responses in humans. Objective: We investigated what factors in grain products affect human glucose and insulin responses and elucidated the mediating mechanisms. Design: Ten men and 10 women [mean age: 28 ± 1 y; mean body mass index (in kg/m²): 22.9 ± 0.7] with normal glucose tolerance were recruited. The test products were whole-kernel rye bread, whole-meal rye bread containing oat β-glucan concentrate, dark durum wheat pasta, and wheat bread made from white wheat flour. Paracetamol, a marker of the rate of gastric emptying, was added to the breads during baking. Each product provided 50 g available carbohydrate and was served in random order with breakfast (except for the β-glucan rye bread, which was served at the last visit). Fasting and 8 postprandial blood samples were collected at intervals of 15–30 min for 3 h to determine plasma glucose, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), serum insulin, and paracetamol concentrations. The in vitro starch hydrolysis, the structural characteristics (by light microscopy), and the molecular weight of β-glucan in the test products were analyzed. Results: Glucose responses and the rate of gastric emptying after consumption of the 2 rye breads and pasta did not differ from those after consumption of white wheat bread. However, insulin, GIP, and GLP-1 responses, except for GLP-1 responses to the rye bread containing oat β-glucan concentrate, were lower after the consumption of rye breads and pasta than after consumption of white wheat bread. Conclusions: Postprandial insulin responses to grain products are determined by the form of food and botanical structure rather than by the amount of fiber or the type of cereal in the food. These effects may be mediated through GIP and GLP-1.
Postprandial glycemic and insulinemic responses and satiety with various barley products were evaluated in normal subjects. Also studied were the rate of in vitro starch digestion and the content of in vitro resistant starch (RS). Products tested were boiled intact (rice extender) and milled kernels (porridge) from four barley genotypes of Glacier with different amylose-amylopectin ratios (7–44% amy lose). All barley products elicited lower metabolic responses and higher satiety scores when compared with white wheat bread. The lente behavior of the boiled flours was probably due to the viscous properties of the β-glucans. However, the boiled flours produced higher glucose and insulin responses than did the corresponding boiled kernels. The impact of amylose: amylopectin on the metabolic responses was marginal. The high-amylose products released starch more slowly from a dialysis tubing during enzymic incubation of chewed samples compared with the corresponding products with less amylose. The RS content ranged from 0.4% in waxy to 5.6% in the high-amylose flour product (starch basis).
The glycaemic index (GI) is a measure of the ability of a food to raise blood sugar. Written by one of the co-inventors of the term, this is a clear and balanced review of current knowledge on this controversial concept. The book explores all the key issues of the definition of the GI, how to measure the GI of a food, how to apply GI information to meals and diets, the reasons why foods have different GI values and the impact of altering a diet GI on health and disease. The book highlights the benefits and the problems surrounding the GI concept, whilst encouraging readers to think critically about the issues involved.
OBJECTIVE - Consumption of a meal high in resistant starch or soluble fiber (P-glucan) decreases peak insulin and glucose concentrations and areas under the curve (AUCs). The objective was to determine whether the effects of soluble fiber and resistant starch on glycemic variables are additive. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - Ten normal-weight (43.5 years of age, BMI 22.0 kg/m(2)) and 10 overweight women (43.3 years of age, BMI 30.4 kg/m(2)) consumed 10 tolerance meals in a Latin square design. Meals (1 g carbohydrate/kg body wt) were glucose a ne or muffins made with different levels of soluble fiber (0.26, 0.68, or 2.3 g beta-glucan/100 g muffin) and three levels of resistant starch (0.71, 2.57, or 5.06 g/100 g muffin). RESULTS - Overweight subjects had plasma insulin concentrations higher than those of normal-weight subjects but maintained similar plasma glucose levels. Compared with low beta-glucan-low resistant starch muffins, glucose and insulin AUC decreased when beta-glucan (17 and 33%, respectively) or resistant Starch (24 and 38%, respectively) content was increased. The greatest AUC reduction occurred after meals containing both high beta-glucan-high resistant Starch (33 and 59% lower AUC for glucose and insulin, respectively). Overweight women were somewhat more insulin resistant than control women. CONCLUSIONS - Soluble fiber appears to have a greater effect on postprandial insulin response while glucose reduction is greater after resistant starch from high-amylose cornstarch. The reduction in glycemic response was enhanced by combining resistant starch and soluble fiber. Consumption of foods containing moderate amounts of these fibers may improve glucose metabolism in both normal and overweight women.
Among common cereals, barley is a low glycemic index food. In an attempt to better understand this character, the nutritional properties of glycemic carbohydrates and dietary fiber concentrations of nine cultivars were evaluated. The cultivars were selected based on botanical variations and commercial value to investigate the impact of pearling and cooking on nutritional properties. Each cultivar was pearled into four fractions ranging from hull removal only to hull, bran, germ, and crease removal. The study showed that botanical class and degree of pearling significantly affect the carbohydrate composition and digestion indices of barley. Waxy starch cultivars had less total starch and more rapidly digestible starch (RDS), rapidly available glucose (RAG), and beta-glucan than the other nonwaxy cultivars. Regardless of the barley type, the less pearled kernels had significantly lower total starch and higher total low molecular weight sugars, insoluble, and total fiber. However, beta-glucan content was fairly comparable in the whole grain and pearled fractions. Cooking had a significant effect on nutritional properties of Celebrity and AC Klinck cultivars. The only consistent significant difference between raw and cooked barley was resistant starch (RS), which increased after cooking regardless of cultivar or fraction. The study showed that barley cultivar and carbohydrate composition significantly affected starch digestion with some cultivar fractions holding a promise for the development of low glycemic index foods.
Over the years, the beta-glucan of oats and barley has been the subject of study either because of the importance of the cholesterol-lowering potential to health claims (FDA 1997, 2005) or, in the case of barley, because of the role of beta-glucan and beta-glucan-rich endosperm cell walls in malting and brewing. beta-Glucan is also present in rye and in much lesser amounts in wheat. The most striking difference in these latter two sources is the difficulty in extractability; alkali rather than water is required for significant release from the cell walls. This review will discuss physicochemical properties of oat and rye beta-glucan and, where information allows, relate these to physiological effects. Viscosity, or more generally rheology, plays a central role in discussions of cereal beta-glucan functionality and physiological effects and will be the focus of this review.
Cereal Chem. 74(3):293-296 High-fiber, high-carbohydrate diets, including foods with low glyce- mic index, have been associated with prevention and treatment of dis- eases such as coronary heart disease and diabetes. β-glucan, a soluble, viscous polymer found in oat and barley endosperm cell wa ll, was incor- porated into pasta test meals. Five fasted adult subjects were fed test meals of a barley and durum wheat blend pasta containing 100 g of avail- able carbohydrate, 30 g of total dietary fiber (TDF) and 12 g of β-glucan, or an all durum wheat pasta containing the same amount of available