Individuals in the clinical trial who consumed 6g/day of Barliv barley betafiber also had a 3.9% reduction of body fat in the hips, buttocks and thighs, despite maintaining their weight during the study as instructed.
These findings expand the health benefits of Barliv barley betafiber, a natural soluble fibre developed by Cargill, beyond its cholesterol reduction capability which is backed by a US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) health claim.
Results of this trial are especially promising for the epidemic number of people worldwide who are pre-diabetic and who are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, researchers say.
The 12-week randomised, placebo controlled, double blind, clinical trial, conducted at Louisville Metabolic & Atherosclerosis Research Center (Louisville, KY), assessed the impact of barley-glucan (Barliv barley betafiber) on glucose levels and insulin sensitivity. Ineffective handling of glucose and insulin resistance are markers for increased risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases.
The 50 healthy participants, each at risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus because they had pre-diabetic elevated blood sugar levels, were randomised into three groups, placebo and 3g/day or 6g/day of Barliv barley betafiber (in the form of a flavoured water beverage).
Because weight changes can impact both of these variables, the researchers took steps to ensure that the participants kept their weight constant during the trial period. The findings suggest that 6g/day of Barliv barley betafiber over 12 weeks was well tolerated and can improve insulin sensitivity among generally healthy people with pre-diabetes who have no prior diagnosis of diabetes mellitus.
Harold Bays, lead researcher, said: “Since this study demonstrated that barley betafiber improved glycemic parameters despite no change in body weight, this suggests that it may have glycemic benefits in humans beyond effects of weight loss.”
The other somewhat surprising finding was that subjects who consumed 6g of Barliv barley betafiber daily for 12 weeks lost 3.9% body fat from their hips, buttocks and thighs.
Lore Kolberg, associate director, Cargill Regulatory and Scientific Affairs, said: “Incredibly, this change in fat distribution happened without effort, and is thought to be related to Barliv’s positive impact on insulin resistance.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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