Blackcurrants help with post-meal glucose reaction


Blackcurrants have a favorable effect on post-meal glucose reaction, and the required portion size is much smaller than previously believed, a new study from the University of Eastern Finland shows.

Blackcurrants have a beneficial effect on the blood glucose response following a meal. They balance the sugar response of ingested sugar by attenuating its rise and slowing its drop. The effect is probably related to berry-derived polyphenolic compounds, anthocyanins, which are rich in blackcurrants.

The beneficial health effect of blackcurrants was encouraged by recent research conducted in the University of Eastern Finland. From the clinical meal study (Maqua) the beneficial effect on postprandial glucose response was achieved by 75 gram (1.5 dL) of blackcurrants, a remarkably smaller percentage size than in earlier studies. They are usually consumed with added sugar because of their organic sourness, which might be a cause of concern for health-conscious consumers. However, it appears that sugar absorbed with blackcurrants isn’t as unhealthy as sugar absorbed without berries.

The analysis was conducted in collaboration between the Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition at the University of Eastern Finland and Savonia University of Applied Sciences by utilizing the regional Food Valley ecosystem.

Berries are an important part of a wholesome diet, being plentiful in vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and polyphenols. So far, however, the EU has not authorized health claims for berries. In recent years, there have been a lot of studies monitoring the effects of berries on glucose metabolism, together with the dark berries, such as blackcurrant and bilberry, producing the most convincing results. Black-colored berries, rich in anthocyanins, seem to attenuate the blood glucose response to added sugar, when compared with a control product having the identical quantity of sugar. The identical effect is demonstrated by anthocyanins extracted from blackcurrants. Polyphenolic compounds can slow down the absorption of glucose from the small intestine by interacting with carbohydrate-digesting enzymes and glucose transport proteins. Additionally, polyphenolic compounds may reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.

From the Maqua study, 26 healthy participants (22 female, 4 male) Consumed three different evaluation products and sugar water as a control merchandise at four separate study visits. The test products were a blackcurrant purée with additional sugar, a blackcurrant product containing fermented quinoa, and a blackcurrant product foundation without blackcurrants. Every one of them and the management product contained 31 g of available carbohydrates and needed a similar composition of glucose components. Blood samples were taken before the foods in fasting condition and postprandially at 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120 and 180 minutes after consuming the meal, and analyzed for glucose, insulin, and free fatty acids.

Compared to sugar , the two blackcurrant products had attenuated postprandial glycaemic response, which has been found in reduced maximum glucose and insulin, delayed autumn of sugar, and delayed rise of free fatty acids because of hypoglycaemia. The effect was improved for the blackcurrant products because of the innovative product foundation. The results support earlier findings about the effects of blackcurrant on blood sugar response after a meal, demonstrating the effect with a smaller percentage size. Over a longer period of time, smaller variations in the blood glucose and insulin levels, and enhanced insulin sensitivity, may decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Blackcurrants are an interesting raw material to the meals industry because of their high content of anthocyanins and simple accessibility. They have potential to be developed into fresh healthy and tasty products.

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Categories: Eat Health