Postprandial insulin and glucose levels are reduced in healthy subjects when a standardised breakfast meal is supplemented with a filtered sugarcane molasses concentrate

Eur J Nutr. 2016 Dec;55(8):2365-2376. doi: 10.1007/s00394-015-1043-6. Epub 2015 Sep 26.


Purpose: A phytochemical- and mineral-rich filtered sugarcane molasses concentrate (FMC), when added to carbohydrate-containing foods as a functional ingredient, lowers postprandial blood glucose and insulin responses. We hypothesised that this beneficial effect would also occur if FMC was administered as an oral supplement taken before a meal.

Methods: This study measured the postprandial glucose and insulin responses elicited by different doses of FMC administered immediately prior to a standard breakfast to healthy subjects. Each subject was given three or five breakfast meals once, on different days. The composition of the meals was identical, except for the addition of either placebo syrup (test meal 1) or increasing doses of FMC (test meals 2-5).

Results: The plasma glucose concentration curves were similar for the five test meals. Plasma insulin curves were lowered in a dose-dependent manner. Stratifying subjects based on age, BMI and insulin resistance showed greater effects of low doses of FMC on lowering insulin responses in those subjects with potentially greater insulin resistance. When insulin response is standardised to amount of carbohydrate in the meal/dose combination, the reduction in response is linear and inversely proportional to the FMC dose.

Conclusions: FMC shows promise as an agent that can reduce insulin responses and lessen the load on the pancreatic beta cells.

Keywords: Blood glucose; Insulin; Insulin resistance; Metabolic syndrome.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Mass Index
  • Breakfast
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / analysis
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / analysis
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fiber / analysis
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / analysis
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / drug effects
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism
  • Male
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage
  • Micronutrients / analysis
  • Molasses / analysis*
  • Phytochemicals / administration & dosage
  • Phytochemicals / analysis
  • Postprandial Period*
  • Saccharum / chemistry*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Insulin
  • Micronutrients
  • Phytochemicals