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Effects of GI and content of indigestible carbohydrates of cereal-based evening meals on glucose tolerance at a subsequent standardised breakfast

Abstract

Objective:

To evaluate the impact of four low-glycaemic index (GI) and one high-GI cereal-based evening meals on glucose tolerance at a subsequent standardised breakfast.

Design:

Wheat kernels, barley kernels, spaghetti, spaghetti with added wheat bran and white wheat bread (WWB) were consumed in the evening in a random order at five different occasions. At the subsequent breakfast, blood glucose, serum insulin, plasma short chain fatty acid, plasma free fatty acid (FFA) and breath hydrogen were measured.

Setting:

The study was performed at Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry, Lund University, Sweden.

Subjects:

Fifteen healthy volunteers were recruited. One subject was later excluded owing to abnormal blood glucose values.

Results:

The blood glucose response (0–120 min) to the standardised breakfast was significantly lower after consuming barley kernels in the evening compared with evening meals with WWB (P=0.019) or spaghetti+wheat bran (P=0.046). There were no significant differences in insulin concentrations at breakfast. Breath hydrogen excretion at breakfast was significantly higher after an evening meal with barley kernels compared with WWB, wheat kernels or spaghetti (P=0.026, 0.026 and 0.015, respectively), and the concentration of plasma propionate at breakfast was significantly higher following an evening meal with barley kernels compared with an evening meal with WWB (P=0.041). In parallel, FFA concentrations were significantly lower after barley kernels compared with WWB (P=0.042) or spaghetti evening meals (P=0.019).

Conclusions:

The improved glucose tolerance at breakfast, following an evening meal with barley kernels appeared to emanate from suppression of FFA levels, mediated by colonic fermentation of the specific indigestible carbohydrates present in this product, or, to the combination of the low-GI features and colonic fermentation.

Sponsorship:

European Commission QLK1-2001-00431 (EUROSTARCH).

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Acknowledgements

We thank Dr C Slater at the Division of Developmental Medicine, University of Glasgow, UK and Dr D Morrison, Mrs A Small, and Ms K Cooper at the Stable Isotope Biochemistry Laboratory, Scottish Universities, UK for skilful assistance with SCFA and breath hydrogen analysis. We gratefully acknowledge the technical assistance of Mrs L Persson at Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry, Lund University, Sweden. The study was funded by the European Commission under the Fifth Framework Programme of Research and Technical Development, specifically the Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources, Key Action 1 Food, Nutrition and Health, QLK1-2001-00431.

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Correspondence to A Nilsson.

Additional information

Guarantor: I Björck.

Contributors: AN and IB made the study design with assistance from YG, EÖ and TP. AN was in charge of the collection and analysis of data. AN had the primary responsibility of writing the manuscript, but all authors provided comments on several drafts. None of the authors had any conflicts of interest.

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Nilsson, A., Granfeldt, Y., Östman, E. et al. Effects of GI and content of indigestible carbohydrates of cereal-based evening meals on glucose tolerance at a subsequent standardised breakfast. Eur J Clin Nutr 60, 1092–1099 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602423

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602423

Keywords

  • glycaemic index
  • glucose tolerance
  • second-meal effect
  • colonic fermentation
  • indigestible carbohydrates
  • SCFA

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