Barley Beta-glucans on Appetite

February 10/Food Weekly News -- "Dietary fiber consumption may help to control appetite and to reduce calorie intake. Underlying molecular mechanisms were not fully investigated," scientists in Portici, Italy, report.

"The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of barley beta-glucans on short-term appetite and on satiety-related hormones in healthy subjects. Some 14 volunteers were selected and randomly assigned to have isocaloric breakfasts including a 3% beta-glucan-enriched bread (beta GB) or a control bread (CB). Post-breakfast individual self-records of appetite ratings and measure of calorie intake at an ad libitum lunch as well as measure of blood glucose, insulin, ghrelin and PYY concentrations, were performed. Beta GB determined a significant higher reduction of hunger and increase of fullness and satiety than CB.

"Accordingly, a 19% reduction of energy intake at lunch subsequent to beta GB consumption compared to CB, was recorded. A 23% lower AUC(60-180) of plasma ghrelin and a 16% higher total AUC of PYY response after beta GB than CB consumption, independent from insulin response, was found. Glucose response was also blunted by beta GB versus CB. Barley beta-glucans were able to control appetite in the short term by modulating sensations and reducing energy intake," wrote P. Vitaglione and colleagues, University of Naples.

The researchers concluded, "Data suggested for the first time that satiety effect of beta-glucans are mediated by ghrelin and PYY."

Vitaglione and colleagues published their study in Appetite ("Beta-Glucan-enriched Bread Reduces Energy Intake and Modifies Plasma Ghrelin and Peptide YY Concentrations in the Short Term." Appetite, 2009;53(3):338-344).

For more information, contact P. Vitaglione, University of Naples Federico 2, Dept. of Food Science, Via University 100, I-80055 Portici, NA, Italy.

From the February 15, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition