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Am J Clin Nutr. 1996 Jun;63(6):939-45.

Chronic consumption of short-chain fructooligosaccharides by healthy subjects decreased basal hepatic glucose production but had no effect on insulin-stimulated glucose metabolism.

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Department of Diabetes and Biochemistry, INSERM U341, Hôtel-Dieu Hospital, Paris, France.


We aimed to study the effects of chronic ingestion of short-chain fructooligosaccharides (FOS), an indigestible carbohydrate, on hepatic glucose production, insulin-mediated glucose metabolism, erythrocyte insulin binding, and blood lipids in healthy subjects. Twelve healthy volunteers received either 20 g FOS/d or sucrose for 4 wk in a double-blind crossover design. FOS did not modify fasting plasma glucose and insulin concentrations. Mean (+/- SEM) basal hepatic glucose production was lower after FOS than after sucrose consumption (2.18 +/- 0.10 compared with 2.32 +/- 0.09, min-1, respectively; P < 0.02, paired Student's t test). However, neither insulin suppression of hepatic glucose production nor insulin stimulation of glucose uptake measured by hyperinsulinemic clamp was significantly different between the two dietary periods. Erythrocyte insulin binding was also comparable. Serum triacylglycerols, total and high-density- lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoproteins A-I and B, and lipoprotein(a) were not modified by FOS. To try to understand why FOS did not increase serum lipids, the in vitro production of short-chain fatty acids from FOS was evaluated by using human fecal inoculum and compared with that from lactulose, which was found to increase serum lipids. FOS produced an acetate-propionate ratio two times lower than that of lactulose. We conclude that 4 wk of 20 g FOS/d decreased basal hepatic glucose production but had no detectable effect on insulin-stimulated glucose metabolism in healthy subjects. The colonic fermentation pattern of undigestible carbohydrates may be relevant to predicting their metabolic effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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