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J Agric Food Chem. 2011 May 11;59(9):4582-8. doi: 10.1021/jf200355q. Epub 2011 Apr 8.

Effect of green tea catechins on the postprandial glycemic response to starches differing in amylose content.

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State Key Lab of Food Science and Technology, School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, P R China.


The effect of tea polyphenols (TPLs), specifically tea catechins, on the postprandial glycemic response to cooked starches differing in amylose contents was investigated. The in vivo test using a mouse model showed a moderate reduction of the postprandial glycemic response to co-cooked normal (containing 27.8% amylose) or waxy corn starch with 10% TPLs (dry weight of starch), while an augmented glycemic response with a delayed blood glucose peak was observed when high amylose corn starch (HAC, containing 79.4% amylose) was used as the starch component. Enzyme kinetics results demonstrated that TPLs noncompetitively inhibit the digestion of waxy or normal corn starch, while the digestion rate of HAC starch was increased in the presence of TPLs, which supports the observed postprandial glycemic responses. Further studies using X-ray powder diffraction showed that the diffraction intensity (area under the diffraction curves) of normal and HAC starch was increased by 45% and 74%, respectively, whereas no change was observed for waxy corn starch. Consistently, dynamic laser light scattering studies using a solution of pure amylose showed an increased hydrodynamic radius of amylose molecules from ∼54 nm to ∼112 nm in the presence of TPLs. These experimental results indicate that there might exist an interaction between TPLs and amylose, which facilitates the association of amylose molecules to form a special nonordered structure that can produce a high and sustained postprandial glycemic response. Thus, a combination of tea polyphenols and specific starches could be used to manipulate postprandial glycemic response for glycemic control and optimal health.

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