Factors related to colonic fermentation of nondigestible carbohydrates of a previous evening meal increase tissue glucose uptake and moderate glucose-associated inflammation

Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jan;91(1):90-7. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28521. Epub 2009 Nov 4.


Background: Evening meals that are rich in nondigestible carbohydrates have been shown to lower postprandial glucose concentrations after ingestion of high-glycemic-index breakfasts. This phenomenon is linked to colonic fermentation of nondigestible carbohydrates, but the underlying mechanism is not fully elucidated.

Objective: We examined the way in which glucose kinetics and related factors change after breakfast as a result of colonic fermentation.

Design: In a crossover design, 10 healthy men ingested as an evening meal white wheat bread (WB) or cooked barley kernels (BA) that were rich in nondigestible carbohydrates. In the morning after intake of 50 g (13)C-enriched glucose, the dual-isotope technique was applied to determine glucose kinetics. Plasma insulin, free fatty acid, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and short-chain fatty acid concentrations and breath-hydrogen excretion were measured.

Results: The plasma glucose response after the glucose drink was 29% lower after the BA evening meal (P = 0.019). The insulin response was the same, whereas mean (+/-SEM) tissue glucose uptake was 30% higher (20.2 +/- 1.9 compared with 15.5 +/- 1.8 mL/2 h; P = 0.016) after the BA evening meal, which indicated higher peripheral insulin sensitivity (P = 0.001). The 4-h mean postprandial interleukin-6 (19.7 +/- 5.1 compared with 5.1 +/- 0.7 pg/mL; P = 0.024) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (7.8 +/- 2.1 compared with 5.3 +/- 1.6 pg/mL; P = 0.008) concentrations after the glucose drink were higher after the WB evening meal. Butyrate concentrations (P = 0.041) and hydrogen excretion (P = 0.005) were higher in the morning after the BA evening meal.

Conclusion: In healthy subjects, factors related to colonic fermentation of nondigestible carbohydrates increase peripheral insulin sensitivity and moderate glucose-associated inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Bread
  • Breath Tests
  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Colon / metabolism*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism*
  • Fermentation
  • Glucose / adverse effects
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Hordeum
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen / analysis
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / physiopathology*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Isotope Labeling
  • Male
  • Postprandial Period
  • Random Allocation
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Insulin
  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Hydrogen
  • Glucose