Lowering glycemic index of food by acarbose and Plantago psyllium mucilage

Arch Med Res. 1998 Summer;29(2):137-41.


Background: A study was designed to evaluate the effect of acarbose and Plantago psyllium mucilage on glycemic index (GI) of bread.

Methods: Twelve patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and ten healthy volunteers were studied. Three meal tests with an intake of 90 g of white bread (50 g of carbohydrates) were performed on each subject. In one test, 200 mg of acarbose was given, while 15 g of P. psyllium mucilage was given in another test, and only bread was ingested in the control test. Serum glucose and insulin concentrations were measured every 30 min from 0-180 min. Net area under curve (AUC) concentrations of glucose and insulin, GI and insulinic index were calculated.

Results: In NIDDM patients, AUC-glucose in the test with acarbose (1.9 +/- 0.7 mmol/L) and with P. psyllium (4.3 +/- 1.2 mmol/L) were significantly lower than in the control test (7.4 +/- 1.5 mmol/L) (p < 0.01). GI of bread plus acarbose was 26 +/- 13, and of bread plus P. psyllium, 59 +/- 10 (p < 0.05). AUC-insulin and insulinic index behave similarly. In healthy individuals, AUC-glucose and GI did not significantly change with the treatments; however, insulinic index with acarbose was 17 +/- 16, and with P. psyllium was 68 +/- 15 (p < 0.05). Acarbose or P. psyllium decreased GI of bread in NIDDM patients and diminished insulinic index in NIDDM and in healthy subjects.

Conclusions: Adding acarbose or P. psyllium to meals may reduce glycemic index of carbohydrate foods and may help diabetic control.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acarbose
  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Bread*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • Dietary Fiber / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plantago*
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Trisaccharides / therapeutic use*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Trisaccharides
  • Acarbose