Design: Functional foods may be useful for people with diabetes. The soluble fibers beta glucans can modify starch digestion and improve postprandial glucose response. We analyzed the metabolic effects of a specifically designed 'functional' bread, low in starch, rich in fibers (7 g/100 g), with a beta glucan/starch ratio of (7.6:100, g/g), in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Methods: Clinical and metabolic data from two groups of age-, sex- and glycated hemoglobin-matched diabetic subjects, taking either the functional bread or regular white bread, over a roughly six-month observation period, were retrieved.
Results: Bread intake did not change during the trial. The functional bread reduced glycated hemoglobin by ~0.5% (absolute units) vs. pre-treatment values (p = 0.028), and by ~0.6% vs. the control group (p = 0.027). Post-prandial and mean plasma glucose was decreased in the treatment group too. Body weight, blood pressure and plasma lipids did not change. The acceptance of the functional bread was good in the majority of subjects, except for taste.
Conclusions: A starch-restricted, fiber-rich functional bread, with an increased beta glucan/starch ratio, improved long term metabolic control, and may be indicated in the dietary treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Keywords: beta glucan; fibers; metabolic control; plasma glucose; starch.