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Br J Nutr. 2012 Apr;107(8):1184-91. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511004156. Epub 2011 Sep 7.

Natto and viscous vegetables in a Japanese-style breakfast improved insulin sensitivity, lipid metabolism and oxidative stress in overweight subjects with impaired glucose tolerance.

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Department of Clinical Nutrition, Institute of Health Biosciences, University of Tokushima Graduate School, 3-18-15 Kuramoto, Tokushima 770-8503, Japan.

Erratum in

  • Br J Nutr. 2013 Oct;110(7):1356.


We previously suggested that the consumption of natto and viscous vegetables as part of a Japanese-style meal based on white rice (WR) reduced postprandial glucose and insulin levels in healthy subjects. The aim of the present study was to assess whether a single breakfast of natto and viscous vegetables or the same breakfast consumed for 2 weeks could improve glucose control, insulin sensitivity, lipid metabolism and oxidative stress in overweight subjects with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). A total of eleven free-living subjects with IGT followed a randomised, crossover breakfast intervention for 2 weeks. The test meal included boiled WR with natto (viscous fermented soyabeans), Japanese yam and okra. The control meal included WR with non-viscous boiled soyabeans, potatoes and broccoli. Both meals contained comparable amounts of carbohydrate, fat, protein and fibre. The test meal reduced acute glucose and insulin responses compared to the control meal in the study participants. Insulin sensitivity was assessed using the composite insulin sensitivity index (CISI) after both the test and control meal periods. The test meal resulted in improvements in CISI compared to the baseline, whereas no significant changes were observed after the control meal period. Serum levels of both total and LDL-cholesterol were assessed before and after the test meal period and found to decrease significantly. There was also a tendency towards reduced serum malondialdehyde-modified LDL and N(ɛ)-carboxymethyllysine. No differences were observed in the measures of chronic glycaemic control. Thus, we conclude that a breakfast of natto and viscous vegetables consumed for 2 weeks improves insulin sensitivity, serum lipid and oxidative stress.

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