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J Nutr. 2009 Mar;139(3):461-6. doi: 10.3945/jn.108.099945. Epub 2009 Jan 28.

Viscosity of oat bran-enriched beverages influences gastrointestinal hormonal responses in healthy humans.

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Department of Clinical Nutrition, Food and Health Research Centre, School of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Kuopio, 70211 Kuopio, Finland.


Viscous fibers, including beta-glucan in oat bran, favorably affect satiety as well as postprandial carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. However, effects of fiber viscosity on modulation of satiety-related gut hormone responses are largely unknown. We examined the effects of modified oat bran, with or without its natural viscosity, on sensations of appetite and satiety-related gastrointestinal (GI) hormone responses to establish the relevance of viscosity of beta-glucan in oat bran. Twenty healthy, normal-weight participants (16 female, 4 male, aged 22.6 +/- 0.7 y) ingested 2 isocaloric (1250 kJ) 300-mL oat bran beverages with low or high viscosity (carbohydrates, 57.9 g; protein, 7.8 g; fat, 3.3 g; fiber, 10.2 g) after a 12-h fast in randomized order. Viscosity of the low-viscosity oat bran beverage was reduced by beta-glucanase treatment. Blood samples were drawn before and 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 180 min after beverage consumption. The oat bran beverage with low viscosity induced a greater postprandial increase in satiety (P = 0.048) and plasma glucose (P < 0.001), insulin (P = 0.008), cholecystokinin (P = 0.035), glucagon-like peptide 1 (P = 0.037), and peptide YY (P = 0.051) and a greater decrease in postprandial ghrelin (P = 0.009) than the beverage with high-viscosity oat bran. Gastric emptying as measured by paracetamol absorption was also faster (P = 0.034) after low-viscosity oat bran beverage consumption. In conclusion, viscosity differences in oat beta-glucan in a liquid meal with identical chemical composition strongly influenced not only glucose and insulin responses, but also short-term gut hormone responses, implying the importance of food structure in the modulation of postprandial satiety-related physiology.

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