Effect of Dietary Fiber on Absorption of Glucose

Currently there are natural alternatives available that can help control blood glucose. Consumers need to become aware of these alternatives , because recent studies indicate as many as one third of people in the UK have tried at least one form of complementary therapy, and over two million people in the UK have been diagnosed with diabetes. Developing a lifestyle intervention that is comprised of diet and exercise, has the ability to reduce the incidence of diabetes. In addition, people can help control their blood glucose levels by consuming certain fibers.

Marian Verbruggen a Ph.D. in Food Chemistry with an emphasis on plant polysaccharides from Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands, believes it can be challenging for consumers to determine how to choose the best fiber to help control blood glucose. Before becoming the Head of Medical Sciences and Regulatory Affairs for Frutarom, Verbruggen spent eight years as a research and development manager and four years teaching food science and technology at the Hogeschool Delft, The Netherlands.

"There have been several studies conducted on various fibers related to the glucose absorption and glycaemic response," said Verbruggen. "The absorption of glucose from the intestines can be imitated in vitro, and this method was used to compare 19 fibers in a 2001 study. The in vitro study was conducted on the possible role of dietary fiber in lowering postprandial serum glucose,"[i] Verbruggen said. "The results showed postprandial serum glucose was lowered by dietary fiber at least through three pathways: 1) increase the viscosity of the small intestinal content and delay the diffusion of glucose, 2) absorb glucose and prevent its diffusion and 3) to inhibit the activity of α-amylase and postpone the release of glucose from starch."

Frutarom recently conducted a study to measure the glucose binding properties of 19 different fibers in vitro. The overall results of Frutarom's study show which fibers are good candidates to reduce intestinal glucose absorption in vivo. The study imitated the situation of the intestines by dialysis and fibers were ranked based upon their ability to bind or adsorb the glucose. The top ten fibers showed the best glucose binding activity.

Using the more reliable ranking method of calculating the area under the curve, rather than looking at just one end, FenuLife resulted in the best performing group of fibers. FenuLife, next to some popular food fibers, known for high viscosity properties and Psyllium Husk was the most efficient in successfully binding glucose. Potato fiber and Apple fibre performed significantly lower than FenuLife when binding glucose. “The reduction of glucose absorption, as imitated in this test system, can be the mechanism for earlier observations that FenuLife is effective in reducing postprandial blood glucose in vivo,” Verbruggen commented. “FenuLife is superior to many other fibers marketed for the same application: blood sugar reduction.”

These objective comparative studies allow consumers to make informed decisions about the types of fibers to purchase, and Frutarom is leading the efforts to provide consumers with reliable, science-based information. In addition, Frutarom also offers a portfolio of high quality health ingredients.

About Frutarom

Frutarom was established in 1933. With a current market capitalization of over US$ 480 million, it is a rapidly growing multinational flavors and fine ingredients company, employing about 1,200 people. It develops, manufactures and markets an extensive variety of high quality flavors and natural fine ingredients for customers in various industries: the food-, beverage and functional food industries as well as the flavor-, fragrance- pharmaceutical, dietary supplement and cosmetic industries. Frutarom markets and sells over 15,000 products to more than 5,000 customers in over 120 countries and keeps manufacturing facilities in Europe, North America, Israel and Asia. The company operates worldwide through local agents and distributors.

Frutarom operates through two divisions: The Flavors Division develops, produces and markets flavor compounds and food systems, while the Fine Ingredients Division is responsible for the whole process from development to sale of natural flavor extracts, functional food ingredients and pharma/nutraceutical extracts, as well as specialty essential oils, citrus products and aroma chemicals.

Over recent years, Frutarom has implemented a successful rapid growth strategy that combines above industry-average organic growth in its core activities together with strategic acquisitions of synergetic companies and activities. In the course of the last decade, Frutarom has acquired fourteen businesses, including the Swiss company Emil Flachsmann AG in 2003, the European food system activities of IFF in 2004, the Nesse group in January and Acatris Health in October 2006.

Frutarom Industries, Ltd. is a public company whose stock is listed on the Tel Aviv and London Stock Exchanges.

For further information, visit our website: www.frutarom.com


[i] Shiyi Ou, Kin-chor Kwok, Yan Li, and Liang Fu, Research Center of Food Science and Technology, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, People's Republic of China, and Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

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