A bilberry drink with fermented oatmeal decreases postprandial insulin demand in young healthy adults

Nutr J. 2011 May 21:10:57. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-10-57.


Background: in traditional medicine, blueberries have been used to facilitate blood glucose regulation in type 2 diabetes. Recent studies in diabetic mice have indicated facilitated glycaemic regulation following dietary supplementation with extracts from European blueberries, also called bilberries, (Vaccinium myrtillus). The purpose of the present study was to investigate the impact of fermented oat meal drinks containing bilberries or rosehip (Rosa canina) on glycaemic and insulinaemic responses.

Methods: glycaemic and insulinaemic responses in young healthy adults were measured in two series. In series 1, two drinks based on oat meal (5%), fermented using Lactobacillus plantarum 299v, and added with fruit (10%); bilberries (BFOMD) or rose hip (RFOMD) respectively, were studied. In series 2, BFOMD was repeated, additionally, a drink enriched with bilberries (47%) was tested (BBFOMD). As control a fermented oat meal drink (FOMD) was served.

Results: in series 1 the bilberry- and rosehip drinks, gave high glucose responses similar to that after the reference bread. However, the insulin index (II) after the BFOMD was significantly lower (II = 65) (P < 0.05). In series 2 a favourably low insulin demand to BFOMD was confirmed. FOMD gave high glucose response (GI = 95) but, significantly lower insulin response (II = 76). BBFOMD gave remarkably low insulin response II = 49, and tended to lower glycaemia (GI = 79) (P = 0.0684).

Conclusion: a fermented oat meal drink added with bilberries induced a lower insulin response than expected from the glycaemic response. The mechanism for the lowered acute insulin demand is still unclear, but may be related to some bio-active component present in the bilberries, or to the fermented oat meal base.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Avena / chemistry*
  • Beverages / analysis
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Female
  • Fermentation
  • Food, Formulated / analysis
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Glycemic Index / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Plant Preparations / administration & dosage*
  • Postprandial Period / drug effects*
  • Vaccinium myrtillus / chemistry*
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Plant Preparations