Effects of indigestible carbohydrates in barley on glucose metabolism, appetite and voluntary food intake over 16 h in healthy adults

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Background: Recent knowledge in animals suggests that gut microbial metabolism may affect host metabolism, including appetite regulating hormones. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the potential effects of a whole grain barley kernel product, rich in intrinsic indigestible carbohydrates (dietary fibre and resistant starch), on markers of metabolism and appetite regulation in healthy subjects. Methods: Boiled barley kernels (BK) or white wheat bread (WWB; reference) were provided as late evening meals to 19 young adults in random order using a cross-over design. During subsequent ad libitum standardized breakfast and lunch meals (10.5-16 h), blood was collected for analysis of glucose, plasma insulin, adiponectin, ghrelin, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), serum free fatty acids (FFA) and interleukin (IL)-6. In addition, appetite sensations, voluntary energy intake and breath H-2 were determined. Results: BK as evening meal increased plasma GLP-1 at fasting (P < 0.05) and during the experimental day (P < 0.01) compared with WWB. In addition the BK evening meal decreased fasting serum FFA (P < 0.05) and tended to decrease fasting serum IL-6 (P = 0.06). At lunch, preceded by BK evening meal, voluntary energy intake was decreased (P < 0.05) when compared to WWB evening meal. The BK evening meal decreased incremental blood glucose area (P < 0.01), promoted higher breath H2 (P < 0.001), maintained adiponectin concentrations (P < 0.05) and reduced perceived hunger (P < 0.05) during 10.5-16 h after the meal. Conclusions: The results indicate that the BK evening meal, facilitate glucose regulation, increase the release of GLP-1, reduce subsequent energy intake while at the same time decreasing hunger over 2 subsequent meals, and reduce fasting FFA the subsequent morning, possibly mediated through gut microbial fermentation of the indigestible carbohydrates.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nutrition and Dietetics


  • Barley, Dietary fibre, Glucose tolerance, Incretins, GLP-1, Energy, intake, Appetite, Colonic fermentation, Metabolic syndrome, Inflammation
Original languageEnglish
Article number46
JournalNutrition Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry (011001300)

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