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Nutr Res. 2011 Mar;31(3):223-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2011.02.002. Epub 2011 Mar 22.

No observable differences in glycemic response to maltitol in human subjects from 3 ethnically diverse groups.

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Functional Food Centre, School of Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Gypsy Lane Campus, Headington, OX3 0BP Oxford, UK.


Consumption of a low glycemic index (GI) diet may be helpful in the management and prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The investigation of GI has been predominantly confined to white subjects. We hypothesized that differences in glycemic response (GR) may be observable in subjects of different ethnic origin. The objective of the present study was to determine GR to a high GI (glucose) and low GI (maltitol) test drink in subjects of different ethnic origin. In a randomized, single-blind crossover trial, 10 whites, 10 South Indians and 10 Chinese subjects consumed either glucose or maltitol test drink containing 50 g of one of the test products on different occasions. Capillary blood glucose samples were taken at 15 and 10 minutes before and 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 minutes after consumption of the test drink. The incremental area under the curve of glucose and maltitol were not significantly different between the 3 groups. The mean GR for maltitol was 33.5% in whites, 32.9% in Chinese, and 23.1% in South Indians. The results presented here confirmed that there are no observable differences noted in GR to a high-GI or low-GI test drink between the 3 ethnically diverse groups. We conclude that different ethnic groups exhibit similar GR to low- and high-GI drinks, and GR to maltitol is similar irrespective of ethnic background.

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