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J Nutr. 1996 Feb;126(2):458-66.

Products based on a high fiber barley genotype, but not on common barley or oats, lower postprandial glucose and insulin responses in healthy humans.

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Department of Applied Nutrition and Food Chemistry, University of Lund, Sweden.


Postprandial blood glucose and insulin responses to cereal products made from common barley, oats or a barley genotype containing elevated levels of beta-glucans were evaluated in nine healthy subjects. Porridges were made from commercial Swedish whole-meal barley or oat flours, and a mixed whole-meal porridge using the high fiber barley genotype and commercial Swedish common barley (50:50). Also studied were two types of flour-based bread products composed of high fiber barley and common barley in ratios of 50:50 or 80:20, respectively. The common oat and barley porridges produced postprandial glucose and insulin responses similar to the white wheat bread reference, suggesting that the naturally occurring dietary fiber in these whole-meal flours has no impact on the glucose tolerance. In contrast, all high fiber barley products induced significantly lower responses than did the reference product, with the glycemic and insulin indices ranging from 57 to 72 or 42 to 72%, respectively. It is concluded that "lente" products of high sensory quality can be prepared from a barley genotype with an elevated content of soluble dietary fiber. The glycemic index of these products compares favorably with that of products made from common cereals, suggesting their use as a potential component of diets for patients with diabetes and hyperlipidemia, and for individuals predisposed to metabolic disease.

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