BACKGROUND: Prior studies suggest soluble fibers may favorably affect glucose/insulin metabolism.
METHODS: This prospective, randomized, placebo controlled, double blind, parallel group trial evaluated 50 generally healthy subjects without prior diagnosis of diabetes mellitus (44 completers), who were administered beverages containing placebo (control), lower dose (3 g/d), or higher dose (6 g/d) reduced viscosity barley β-glucan (BBG) extract. Subjects (68% women) mean age 56 years, Body Mass Index (BMI) 32 kg/m2 and baseline fasting plasma glucose 102 mg/dl were instructed to follow a weight-maintaining Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet and consumed three 11 oz study beverages daily with meals for 12 weeks. The four primary study endpoint measures were plasma glucose and insulin [each fasting and post-Oral Glucose Tolerance Testing (OGTT)].
RESULTS: Compared to placebo, administration of 3 g/d BBG over 12 weeks significantly reduced glucose incremental Area Under the Curve (iAUC) measures during OGTT and 6 g/d BBG over 12 weeks significantly reduced fasting insulin as well as the related homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Beverages were generally well tolerated with no serious adverse experiences and no significant differences between groups for adverse experiences. Per protocol instruction, subjects maintained body weight.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest 6 g/d BBG consumed in a beverage over 12 weeks may improve insulin sensitivity among hyperglycemic individuals with no prior diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, and who experience no change in body weight.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01375803.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Bays, Harold; Frestedt, Joy L.; Bell, Margie; Williams, Carolyn; Kolberg, Lore; Schmelzer, Wade; and Anderson, James W., "Reduced viscosity Barley β-Glucan versus placebo: a randomized controlled trial of the effects on insulin sensitivity for individuals at risk for diabetes mellitus" (2011). Internal Medicine Faculty Publications. 14.