Effect of oat β-glucan molecular weight on postprandial glycemic response

September 2020

New research from INQUIS examined the molecular weight and viscosity of oat beta-glucan on postprandial glycemic response. On 8 separate occasions, 16 healthy study participants consumed, as a preload, water alone (as a control) or mixed with oat beta-glucan with varying molecular weight and viscosity, followed by a breakfast of white bread. Blood samples were taken at regular intervals over 2 hours after eating. Researchers found that, surprisingly, neither the peak rise of blood glucose nor the incremental area under the curve (iAUC) for 2 hours after the oat beta-glucan treatments differed significantly from the control.  

“The results for this trial were unexpected,” says Dr. Thomas Wolever, lead author on this study and President of INQUIS Clinical Research. “Viscosity had an effect on postprandial glucose response, but not the effect we had expected. As the viscosity and molecular weight of the oat beta-glucan preloads increased, we found that blood glucose rose more slowly and took longer to reach the peak, but that there was no reduction in the peak rise or iAUC over 2 hours. In that way, the results of this study were quite fascinating and raise questions from a physiological point of view, suggesting that we still do not entirely understand all mechanisms of action with regards to the effect of viscosity on postprandial glucose levels. Studies like this underscore the importance of clinical trials to demonstrate whether the hypothesized effect in a food product is indeed occurring.”


To read the article, click here.