Sucrose induces high postprandial glucose and insulin responses. In vitro studies suggest that berries may reduce the digestion and absorption of sucrose and thereby suppress postprandial glycemia, but the evidence in humans is limited.
We investigated the effects of sucrose ingested with blackcurrants (Ribes nigrum) and lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) on postprandial glucose, insulin, and free fatty acid responses.
Twenty healthy women participated in a randomized, controlled, crossover meal study. They consumed whole blackcurrants or lingonberries (150 g served as purées) or blackcurrant or lingonberry nectars (300 mL), each with 35 g added sucrose. Sucrose alone (35 g in 300 mL water) was used as a reference. Blood samples were collected at 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, and 120 min.
In comparison with sucrose alone, ingestion of sucrose with whole berries resulted in reduced glucose and insulin concentrations during the first 30 min and a slower decline during the second hour and a significantly improved glycemic profile. Berries prevented the sucrose-induced late postprandial hypoglycemic response and the compensatory free fatty acid rebound. Nearly similar effects were observed when sucrose was consumed with berry nectars. The improved responses were evident despite the higher content of available carbohydrate in the berry and nectar meals, because of the natural sugars present in berries.
Blackcurrants and lingonberries, as either whole berries or nectars, optimize the postprandial metabolic responses to sucrose. The responses are consistent with delayed digestion of sucrose and consequent slower absorption of glucose.
Few studies exist on the validity of food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) administered to elderly people. The aim of this study was to assess the validity of a short FFQ on present dietary intake, developed specially for the AGES-Reykjavik Study, which includes 5,764 elderly individuals. Assessing the validity of FFQs is essential before they are used in studies on diet-related disease risk and health outcomes.
128 healthy elderly participants (74 y ± 5.7; 58.6% female) answered the AGES-FFQ, and subsequently filled out a 3-day weighed food record. Validity of the AGES-FFQ was assessed by comparing its answers to the dietary data obtained from the weighed food records, using Spearman's rank correlation, Chi-Square/Kendall's tau, and a Jonckheere-Terpstra test for trend.
For men a correlation = 0.4 was found for potatoes, fresh fruits, oatmeal/muesli, cakes/cookies, candy, dairy products, milk, pure fruit juice, cod liver oil, coffee, tea and sugar in coffee/tea (r = 0.40-0.71). A lower, but acceptable, correlation was also found for raw vegetables (r = 0.33). The highest correlation for women was found for consumption of rye bread, oatmeal/muesli, raw vegetables, candy, dairy products, milk, pure fruit juice, cod liver oil, coffee and tea (r = 0.40-0.61). An acceptable correlation was also found for fish topping/salad, fresh fruit, blood/liver sausage, whole-wheat bread, and sugar in coffee/tea (r = 0.28-0.37). Questions on meat/fish meals, cooked vegetables and soft drinks did not show a significant correlation to the reference method. Pearson Chi-Square and Kendall's tau showed similar results, as did the Jonckheere-Terpstra trend test.
A majority of the questions in the AGES-FFQ had an acceptable correlation and may be used to rank individuals according to their level of intake of several important foods/food groups. The AGES-FFQ on present diet may therefore be used to study the relationship between consumption of several specific foods/food groups and various health-related endpoints gathered in the AGES-Reykjavik Study.
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Starch in white wheat bread (WB) induces high postprandial glucose and insulin responses. For rye bread (RB), the glucose response is similar, whereas the insulin response is lower. In vitro studies suggest that polyphenol-rich berries may reduce digestion and absorption of starch and thereby suppress postprandial glycemia, but the evidence in humans is limited. We investigated the effects of berries consumed with WB or RB on postprandial glucose and insulin responses. Healthy females (n = 13-20) participated in 3 randomized, controlled, crossover, 2-h meal studies. They consumed WB or RB, both equal to 50 g available starch, with 150 g whole-berry purée or the same amount of bread without berries as reference. In study 1, WB was served with strawberries, bilberries, or lingonberries and in study 2 with raspberries, cloudberries, or chokeberries. In study 3, WB or RB was served with a mixture of berries consisting of equal amounts of strawberries, bilberries, cranberries, and blackcurrants. Strawberries, bilberries, lingonberries, and chokeberries consumed with WB and the berry mixture consumed with WB or RB significantly reduced the postprandial insulin response. Only strawberries (36%) and the berry mixture (with WB, 38%; with RB, 19%) significantly improved the glycemic profile of the breads. These results suggest than when WB is consumed with berries, less insulin is needed for maintenance of normal or slightly improved postprandial glucose metabolism. The lower insulin response to RB compared with WB can also be further reduced by berries.