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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effects of Grains on Glucose and Insulin Responses.

Authors
item Behall, Kay
item Hallfrisch, Judith

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 13, 2001
Publication Date: October 1, 2002
Citation: Behall, K.M., Hallfrisch, J.G. 2002. Effects of grains on glucose and insulin responses.. Book Chapter.

Interpretive Summary: Whole grains could provide a substantial contribution to the improvement of the diets of Americans if consumed since many whole grain foods and grain fiber sources have been shown to be beneficial in reduction of insulin resistance and improvement in glucose tolerance. Dietary guidelines by US Department of Agriculture recommend the consumption of 6- 11 servings/day from the grains group with three servings/day from whole grains. However, in the 1994-96 survey data, US adults averaged 6.7 servings of grain products/day in their diet. Only 8% of Americans consume at least 3 servings of whole grains/day with the average consumption less than one serving per day. Whole grains, grain fractions and extracts have been reported to control or improve glucose tolerance and reduce insulin resistance. The inability of the body to maintain normal glucose levels with normal concentrations of insulin production or to require excessive levels of insulin to do so has been called glucose intolerance, impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, and Syndrome X. Insulin resistance has been reported to be a major factor in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus and for many people is the first observed abnormality in the progression of the disease. Obesity has been reported to be the most common condition associated with insulin resistance. Increasing whole grain intake in the population could result in improved glucose metabolism and delay or reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. A number of mechanisms by which grains may improve glucose metabolism and delay or prevent the progression of impaired glucose tolerance to insulin resistance and diabetes are discussed.

Technical Abstract: Whole grains could provide a substantial contribution to the improvement of the diets of Americans if consumed since many whole grain foods and grain fiber sources have been shown to be beneficial in reduction of insulin resistance and improvement in glucose tolerance. Dietary guidelines by US Department of Agriculture recommend the consumption of 6- 11 servings/day from the grains group with three servings/day from whole grains. However, in the 1994-96 survey data, US adults averaged 6.7 servings of grain products/day in their diet. Only 8% of Americans consume at least 3 servings of whole grains/day with the average consumption less than one serving per day. Whole grains, grain fractions and extracts have been reported to control or improve glucose tolerance and reduce insulin resistance. The inability of the body to maintain normal glucose levels with normal concentrations of insulin production or to require excessive levels of insulin to do so has been called glucose intolerance, impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, and Syndrome X. Insulin resistance has been reported to be a major factor in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus and for many people is the first observed abnormality in the progression of the disease. Obesity has been reported to be the most common condition associated with insulin resistance. Increasing whole grain intake in the population could result in improved glucose metabolism and delay or reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. A number of mechanisms by which grains may improve glucose metabolism and delay or prevent the progression of impaired glucose tolerance to insulin resistance and diabetes are discussed.

Last Modified: 4/23/2014