Effects of barley intake on glucose tolerance, lipid metabolism, and bowel function in women

Nutrition. 2003 Nov-Dec;19(11-12):926-9. doi: 10.1016/s0899-9007(03)00182-5.


Objective: The low consumption of grains that are rich sources of dietary fiber may be associated with the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases. This study was conducted to observe the effects of high barley (high-fiber diet) intake on glucose tolerance, lipid metabolism, and bowel function in healthy women.

Methods: Ten women volunteers (20.4 +/- 1.3 y, 19.2 +/- 2.0 kg/m2) signed informed consents and received a standard diet and a barley diet, with each diet for a period of 4 wk with a 1-mo interval (randomized cross-over design). Both diets contained the same amounts of carbohydrate, fat, and protein.

Results: The barley intake significantly lowered plasma total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations and reduced plasma triacylglycerol concentration. Barley intake also increased stool volume. There was no significant difference in glucose tolerance between diet regimens.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that barley intake has beneficial effects on lipid metabolism and bowel function and suggests that the intake of a high-fiber food, i.e., barley, should be recommended to prevent chronic diseases.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Diet*
  • Fasting
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Feces
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test*
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Hordeum*
  • Humans
  • Intestines / physiology*
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol