The acute effect of a β-glucan-enriched oat bread on gastric emptying, GLP-1 response, and postprandial glycaemia and insulinemia: a randomised crossover trial in healthy adults

Nutr Metab (Lond). 2024 Mar 18;21(1):13. doi: 10.1186/s12986-024-00789-w.


Background: The cereal fibre β-glucan reduces postprandial glycaemia, however, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the acute effect of a β-glucan-enriched oat bread on gastric emptying half-time (T1/2), gastric emptying lag phase (Tlag), and gastric emptying rate (GER), and the secretion of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) as potential means to influence postprandial glycaemia.

Methods: A randomised crossover trial was conducted in 22 healthy adults (age 24.6 ± 3.1 years, BMI 23.1 ± 2.7 kg/m2) receiving 25 g available carbohydrates from a β-glucan-enriched oat bread or a control whole-wheat bread at two non-consecutive days. T1/2, Tlag, and GER were determined based on ultrasound measures of the cross-sectional gastric antrum area in the fasting state and 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, and 120 min postprandially. Capillary glucose, serum insulin, and plasma GLP-1 concentrations were measured at the same time points.

Results: A biphasic pattern of gastric emptying with a distinct Tlag before the commencement of emptying was observed in most subjects for both bread types. While no differences in GER were evident (p = 0.562), consumption of the oat bread significantly increased T1/2 by 18 min and Tlag by 14 min compared with the whole-wheat bread (p = 0.005 and p = 0.010, respectively). In addition, the oat bread significantly reduced iAUC2h for glucose and insulin responses compared with the whole-wheat bread (p = 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively). There were no significant differences in GLP-1 response between the two breads (p = 0.892).

Conclusion: The increased T1/2 and Tlag could offer a potential mechanism for the observed attenuation of postprandial glycaemia and insulinemia after consumption of the β-glucan-enriched oat bread compared with the whole-wheat bread.

Trial registration: The study is registered at (NCT04571866).

Keywords: Gastric emptying; Gastrointestinal hormones; Glycaemia; Insulinemia; Oats; Postprandial responses; Ultrasound; β-glucans.

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