Kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala), a vegetable in the family Brassicaceae, has beneficial effects on health, including hypoglycemic effects. In our previous study with a limited number of subjects, intake of kale-containing food at a dose of 14 g decreased postprandial plasma glucose levels. In the present study, the effective dose of kale-containing food was investigated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. The trial was conducted on 42 Japanese subjects aged 21-64 years with fasting plasma glucose levels of ≤125 mg/dl and 30-min postprandial plasma glucose levels of 140-187 mg/dl. The subjects consumed placebo or kale-containing food [7 or 14 g; low-dose (active-L) or high-dose (active-H) kale, respectively] together with a high-carbohydrate meal. At 30-120 min after the test meal intake, the plasma levels of glucose and insulin were determined. The postprandial plasma glucose levels in subjects with intake of active-L or active-H were significantly lower than those in subjects with intake of placebo, with the maximum plasma concentration (Cmax; 163±24 mg/dl for active-L and 162±23 mg/dl for active-H compared with 176±26 mg/dl for placebo [values presented as means ± standard deviation (SD); P<0.01]. The area under the plasma glucose concentration-time curve for 0-2 h (AUC0-2 h) values (means ± SD) were significantly lower for active-L (268±43 mg/h/dl) and active-H (266±42 mg/h/dl) than for the placebo (284±43 mg/h/dl; P<0.05). No significant differences were identified in the postprandial plasma insulin levels between the three conditions. No adverse events associated with intake of either dose of kale were observed. Our findings suggest that intake of kale suppresses postprandial increases in plasma glucose levels at a single dose of 7 g, and that a dose as high as 14 g is safe.
Keywords: anti-diabetic; clinical study; kale; plasma glucose; postprandial hyperglycemia.