Background and aim: Until recently, very few intervention studies have investigated the effects of whole-grain cereals on postprandial glucose, insulin and lipid metabolism, and the existing studies have provided mixed results. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of a 12-week intervention with either a whole-grain-based or a refined cereal-based diet on postprandial glucose, insulin and lipid metabolism in individuals with metabolic syndrome.
Methods and results: Sixty-one men and women age range 40-65 years, with the metabolic syndrome were recruited to participate in this study using a parallel group design. After a 4-week run-in period, participants were randomly assigned to a 12-week diet based on whole-grain products (whole-grain group) or refined cereal products (control group). Blood samples were taken at the beginning and end of the intervention, both fasting and 3 h after a lunch, to measure biochemical parameters. Generalized linear model (GLM) was used for between-group comparisons. Overall, 26 participants in the control group and 28 in the whole-grain group completed the dietary intervention. Drop-outs (five in the control and two in the whole-grain group) did not affect randomization. After 12 weeks, postprandial insulin and triglyceride responses (evaluated as average change 2 and 3 h after the meal, respectively) decreased by 29% and 43%, respectively, in the whole-grain group compared to the run-in period. Postprandial insulin and triglyceride responses were significantly lower at the end of the intervention in the whole-grain group compared to the control group (p = 0.04 and p = 0.05; respectively) whereas there was no change in postprandial response of glucose and other parameters evaluated.
Conclusions: A twelve week whole-grain cereal-based diet, compared to refined cereals, reduced postprandial insulin and triglycerides responses. This finding may have implications for type 2 diabetes risk and cardiovascular disease.
Keywords: Cereal fiber; Glucose metabolism; Insulin metabolism; Lipids; Whole-grains.
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