Berries modify the postprandial plasma glucose response to sucrose in healthy subjects
Sucrose increases postprandial blood glucose concentrations, and diets with a high glycaemic response may be associated with increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and CVD. Previous studies have suggested that polyphenols may influence carbohydrate digestion and absorption and thereby postprandial glycaemia. Berries are rich sources of various polyphenols and berry products are typically consumed with sucrose. We investigated the glycaemic effect of a berry puree made of bilberries, blackcurrants, cranberries and strawberries, and sweetened with sucrose, in comparison to sucrose with adjustment of available carbohydrates. A total of twelve healthy subjects (eleven women and one man, aged 2569 years) with normal fasting plasma glucose ingested 150 g of the berry pure´e with 35 g sucrose or a control sucrose load in a randomised, controlled cross-over design. After consumption of the berry meal, the plasma glucose concentrations were significantly lower at 15 and 30 min (P<0·05, P<0·01, respectively) and significantly higher at 150 min (P<0·05) compared with the control meal. The peak glucose concentration was reached at 45 min after the berry meal and at 30 min after the control meal. The peak increase from the baseline was 1·0 mmol/l smaller (P=0·002) after ingestion of the berry meal. There was no statistically significant difference in the 3 h area under the glucose response curve. These results show that berries rich in polyphenols decrease the postprandial glucose response of sucrose in healthy subjects. The delayed and attenuated glycaemic response indicates reduced digestion and/or absorption of sucrose from the berry meal.