Ultrahigh-viscosity hydroxypropylmethylcellulose blunts postprandial glucose after a breakfast meal in women

J Am Coll Nutr. 2012 Apr;31(2):94-9. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2012.10720014.


Objective: To determine the effects of two water-soluble dietary fibers, ultrahigh-viscosity hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (UHV-HPMC, nonfermentable) and psyllium fiber (fermentable), on postprandial glucose and second meal effects.

Methods: In a single-blind crossover design, 12 healthy adult subjects were given standardized, premeasured breakfast and lunch meals with either 4 g of the fiber supplements or a placebo. Blood glucose was measured with a continuous blood glucose monitoring system (DexCom Seven Plus, San Diego, CA).

Results: Subjects consuming UHV-HPMC had significantly (p < 0.05) lower blood glucose area under the curve (AUC) 2 hours after breakfast than those receiving a placebo. Subjects consuming psyllium also tended to have lower glucose levels than the placebo group. Peak glucose concentration following breakfast was significantly (p < 0.01) less with UHV-HPMC when compared with the placebo. No significant differences in AUC or peak glucose concentration between treatments following the second meal (lunch) were detected, suggesting no residual effect from the fiber supplements.

Conclusions: Supplementation with viscous water-soluble fibers may be an effective means of reducing the glycemic response of a meal in healthy adults.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Area Under Curve
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects*
  • Breakfast*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Fermentation
  • Humans
  • Hypromellose Derivatives
  • Insulin / blood
  • Lunch
  • Methylcellulose / administration & dosage
  • Methylcellulose / analogs & derivatives*
  • Postprandial Period / drug effects*
  • Psyllium / administration & dosage*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Viscosity
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Insulin
  • Hypromellose Derivatives
  • Psyllium
  • Methylcellulose