Effects of ispaghula husk and guar gum on postprandial glucose and insulin concentrations in healthy subjects

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2001 Apr;55(4):235-43. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601147.


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate, under the same experimental conditions and in the same subjects, the effects of ispaghula husk and guar gum on postprandial glucose and insulin concentrations in healthy female subjects.

Design: An oral glucose load with and without fiber was administered in the morning after an overnight fast. The study of the fiber effect was planned according to a randomized and cross-over design.

Setting: The study was performed at the Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Nursing at the University of León (Spain).

Subjects: Ten healthy female volunteers aged 30-48 y with normal body mass indices participated in this study.

Results: A significant decrease in mean serum insulin concentrations was observed from 30 to 90 min in the presence of both fibers. The area under the insulin curve was significantly reduced by 36.1% for ispaghula husk and 39.4% for guar gum. The area under the glucose curve was reduced by 11.1% (significant difference) for ispaghula husk and 2.6% for guar gum (no significant difference).

Conclusions: According to the results obtained in this study, the administration of ispaghula husk may be beneficial due to its ability to reduce glucose postprandial concentration and especially insulin requirements. Individualization of the treatment would be advisable due to large individual variations observed in glycemic and insulinemic postprandial responses.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Area Under Curve
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Cathartics / administration & dosage
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Galactans / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Mannans / administration & dosage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Gums
  • Postprandial Period
  • Psyllium / administration & dosage*
  • Time Factors


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cathartics
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Galactans
  • Insulin
  • Mannans
  • Plant Gums
  • Psyllium
  • guar gum