Many individual studies on oat β-glucan (OBG) confirmed its functionality in improving type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), but disagreements were identified among those results. To derive a pooled estimate of these results, relevant articles, published before 5 September 2015, were collected from four electronic databases (Pubmed, Cochrane Library, Scopus, and Web of Science) and subjected to meta-analysis in the present work. In total, four articles, dealing with 350 T2DM patients combined, met the inclusion criteria. Compared to control, T2DM patients administrated OBG from 2.5 to 3.5 g/day for 3 to 8 weeks presented significantly lowered concentrations in fasting plasma glucose (FPG) by -0.52 (95% CI: -0.94, -0.10) mmol/L (p = 0.01) and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) by -0.21% (95% CI: -0.40, -0.02) (p = 0.03). However, OBG intake did not significantly lower the fasting plasma insulin (FPI) concentration. In conclusion, mediate-term OBG intake (3-8 weeks) favored the glycaemic control of T2DM patients but did not improve their insulin sensitivity. Regrettably, data upon the effects of long-term OBG intake on glycaemic control and insulin sensitivity were scarce, which is of much importance and should be addressed in future research.
Keywords: diabetes mellitus; glycaemic control; insulin sensitivity; meta-analysis; oat β-glucan.