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Knowledge about the impact of starchy foods differing in glycemic index and dietary fiber content on the postprandial glucose tolerance of a subsequen

The effect of GI vs. content of indigestible carbohydrates (dietary fibre and resistant starch (RS)) of evening meals or breakfasts on glucose tolerance at subsequent meals ("second-meal effect") was evaluated in healthy subjects. The GI of some of the test products was predicted using an in vitro method (hydrolyse index, HI)in order to allow for an experimental design capable of discriminating between the above characteristics of starchy foods.

We concluded that the mechanisms for the second meal effect probably differ depending on the time period in between the meals. In the case of benefits on glucose tolerance in the perspective from breakfast to lunch, the key feature involved is probably low-GI feature per se of the starchy food. However, in the perspective from evening to breakfast, or breakfast to the evening meal, other features are also likely to be involved, such as the type and amount of indigestible carbohydrates. A high dose of barley fibre added to a pasta evening meal slightly improved glucose tolerance at breakfast compared with white bread, whereas ingestion of boiled intact barley kernels in the evening significantly lowered blood glucose responses at breakfast compared with a white wheat bread, or spaghetti. Also, a breakfast consisting of boiled barley kernels improved the glucose tolerance over the course of a whole day (breakfast lunch, and dinner).The improved glucose tolerance over the longer time period (10 h) with the boiled barley kernel meal appeared to emanate from colonic fermentation of indigestible carbohydrates, or to the combination of the low GI features and colonic fermentation. Consequently, breath hydrogen excretion, Short chain fatty acid levels were increased and free fatty acid levels decreased at the time when commencing "the second" meal.

The design of low-GI foods capable of improving glycaemic excursions at consecutive meals might be particularly advantageous in reducing risk factors for the insulin resistance syndrome, and the data indicate additive effects of certain low GI foods rich in RS and barley fibre. The studies have pursued previous findings in the Lund research group, and the presently performed work in Lund is the first to demonstrate that the optimization of carbohydrate characteristics of starchy food may improve glucose metabolism over the course of a day. Three human studies have been performed. The results of the first study are published in a scientific journal ("Effects of GI and content of indigestible carbohydrates of cereal based evening meals on glucose tolerance at a subsequent standardised breakfast", Nilsson A, Granfeldt G, et al. (2006), Eur J Clin Nutr.), one is submitted ("Effects of the GI character and content of indigestible carbohydrates at the evening meal for glucose tolerance and metabolic variables the subsequent morning",Nilsson A, Östman E, Björck I), and the third is being prepared for publication.

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Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry, Lund University
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