Objective: Consumption of a meal high in resistant starch or soluble fiber (beta-glucan) decreases peak insulin and glucose concentrations and areas under the curve (AUCs). The objective was to determine whether the effects of soluble fiber and resistant starch on glycemic variables are additive.
Research design and methods: Ten normal-weight (43.5 years of age, BMI 22.0 kg/m2) and 10 overweight women (43.3 years of age, BMI 30.4 kg/m2) consumed 10 tolerance meals in a Latin square design. Meals (1 g carbohydrate/kg body wt) were glucose alone or muffins made with different levels of soluble fiber (0.26, 0.68, or 2.3 g beta-glucan/100 g muffin) and three levels of resistant starch (0.71, 2.57, or 5.06 g/100 g muffin).
Results: Overweight subjects had plasma insulin concentrations higher than those of normal-weight subjects but maintained similar plasma glucose levels. Compared with low beta-glucan-low resistant starch muffins, glucose and insulin AUC decreased when beta-glucan (17 and 33%, respectively) or resistant starch (24 and 38%, respectively) content was increased. The greatest AUC reduction occurred after meals containing both high beta-glucan-high resistant starch (33 and 59% lower AUC for glucose and insulin, respectively). Overweight women were somewhat more insulin resistant than control women.
Conclusions: Soluble fiber appears to have a greater effect on postprandial insulin response while glucose reduction is greater after resistant starch from high-amylose cornstarch. The reduction in glycemic response was enhanced by combining resistant starch and soluble fiber. Consumption of foods containing moderate amounts of these fibers may improve glucose metabolism in both normal and overweight women.