Journal article Open Access

Efficacy of L-Arabinose in Lowering Glycemic and Insulinemic Responses: The Modifying Effect of Starch and Fat

Pol, Korrie; Buhlmann, Marie-Luise; Mars, Monica

L-arabinose is a bio-active compound derived from the side-streams of plant food processing. L-arabinose lowers glycemic and insulinemic responses when added to simple water-based sugary liquids. However, the effect in more complex foods, including fat and starch, is inconsistent. This study assessed the effect of fat or starch in a sugary drink on the efficacy of L-arabinose. Twenty-three healthy volunteers (12 female/11 male; aged 24 ± 3 years; BMI 23 ± 3 kg/m2) participated in a randomised cross-over trial with six drinks: control: 50 g sucrose in water; fat: control + 22 g oil; starch: control + 50 g starch; and all three with and without the addition of 5 g L-arabinose. The addition of L-arabinose to the control drink lowered glucose and insulin peaks by 15% and 52%; for the fat drink by 8% and 45%; and for the starch drink by 7% and 29%. For all three drinks, adding L-arabinose increased glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) responses and lowered Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) responses. Despite adding large quantities of starch and fat to sugary drinks, L-arabinose significantly lowered postprandial glycemic and insulinemic responses in healthy subjects. These findings suggest that L-arabinose can be functional in more complex foods; however, the factors affecting its efficacy in solid food matrices need to be studied in more detail.

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