Glycemic index (GI) describes the blood glucose response after consumption of a carbohydrate containing test food relative to a carbohydrate containing reference food, typically glucose or white bread. GI was originally designed for people with diabetes as a guide to food selection, advice being given to select foods with a low GI. The amount of food consumed is a major determinant of postprandial hyperglycemia, and the concept of glycemic load (GL) takes account of the GI of a food and the amount eaten. More recent recommendations regarding the potential of low GI and GL diets to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and to treat conditions other than diabetes, should be interpreted in the light of the individual variation in blood glucose levels and other methodological issues relating to measurement of GI and GL. Several factors explain the large inter-and intra-individual variation in glycemic response to foods. More reliable measurements of GI and GL of individual foods than are currently available can be obtained by studying, under standard conditions, a larger number of subjects than has typically been the case in the past. Meta-analyses suggest that foods with a low GI or GL may confer benefit in terms of glycemic control in diabetes and lipid management. However, low GI and GL foods can be energy dense and contain substantial amounts of sugars or undesirable fats that contribute to a diminished glycemic response. Therefore, functionality in terms of a low glycemic response alone does not necessarily justify a health claim. Most studies, which have demonstrated health benefits of low GI or GL involved naturally occurring and minimally processed carbohydrate containing cereals, vegetables and fruit. These foods have qualities other than their immediate impact on postprandial glycemia as a basis to recommend their consumption. When the GI or GL concepts are used to guide food choice, this should be done in the context of other nutritional indicators and when values have been reliably measured in a large group of individuals.
This review examines the evidence for the role of whole grain foods and legumes in the aetiology and management of diabetes. MedLine and SilverPlatter ('Nutrition' and 'Food Science FSTA') databases were searched to identify epidemiological and experimental studies relating to the effects of whole grain foods and legumes on indicators of carbohydrate metabolism. Epidemiological studies strongly support the suggestion that high intakes of whole grain foods protect against the development of type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM). People who consume B3 servings per day of whole grain foods are less likely to develop T2DM than low consumers (o3 servings per week) with a risk reduction in the order of 20-30%. The role of legumes in the prevention of diabetes is less clear, possibly because of the relatively low intake of leguminous foods in the populations studied. However, legumes share several qualities with whole grains of potential benefit to glycaemic control including slow release carbohydrate and a high fibre content. A substantial increase in dietary intake of legumes as replacement food for more rapidly digested carbohydrate might therefore be expected to improve glycaemic control and thus reduce incident diabetes. This is consistent with the results of dietary intervention studies that have found improvements in glycaemic control after increasing the dietary intake of whole grain foods, legumes, vegetables and fruit. The benefit has been attributed to an increase in soluble fibre intake. However, prospective studies have found that soluble fibre intake is not associated with a lower incidence of T2DM. On the contrary, it is cereal fibre that is largely insoluble that is associated with a reduced risk of developing T2DM. Despite this, the addition of wheat bran to the diets of diabetic people has not improved indicators of glycaemic control. These apparently contradictory findings might be explained by metabolic studies that have indicated improvement in glucose handling is associated with the intact structure of food. For both grains and legumes, fine grinding disrupts cell structures and renders starch more readily accessible for digestion. The extent to which the intact structure of grains and legumes or the composition of foods in terms of dietary fibre and other constituents contribute to the beneficial effect remains to be quantified. Other mechanisms to help explain improvements in glycaemic control when consuming whole grains and legumes relate to cooking, type of starch, satiety and nutrient retention. Thus, there is strong evidence to suggest that eating a variety of whole grain foods and legumes is beneficial in the prevention and management of diabetes. This is compatible with advice from around the world that recommends consumption of a wide range of carbohydrate foods from cereals, vegetables, legumes and fruits both for the general population and for people with diabetes.
Despite initial enthusiasm, the relationship between glycemic index (GI) and glycemic response (GR) and disease prevention remains unclear. This review examines evidence from randomized, controlled trials and observational studies in humans for short-term (e.g., satiety) and long-term (e.g., weight, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes) health effects associated with different types of GI diets. A systematic PubMed search was conducted of studies published between 2006 and 2018 with key words glycemic index, glycemic load, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, body weight, satiety, and obesity. Criteria for inclusion for observational studies and randomized intervention studies were set. The search yielded 445 articles, of which 73 met inclusion criteria. Results suggest an equivocal relationship between GI/GR and disease outcome. The strongest intervention studies typically find little relationship among GI/GR and physiological measures of disease risk. Even for observational studies, the relationship between GI/GR and disease outcomes is limited. Thus, it is unlikely that the GI of a food or diet is linked to disease risk or health outcomes. Other measures of dietary quality, such as fiber or whole grains may be more likely to predict health outcomes. Interest in food patterns as predictors of health benefits may be more fruitful for research to inform dietary guidance.
Objective: To describe the vitamin D status of women living in two Asian cities, -Jakarta (61S) and , to examine the association between plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D and parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentrations, and to determine a threshold for plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D above which there is no further suppression of PTH. Also, to determine whether dietary calcium intake influences the relationship between PTH and 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Jakarta, Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Participants: A convenience sample of 504 non-pregnant women 18-40 years. Main measures: Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D and PTH. Results: The mean 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration was 48 nmol/l. Less than 1% of women had a 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration indicative of vitamin D deficiency (o17.5 nmol/l); whereas, over 60% of women had a 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration indicative of insufficiency (o50 nmol/l). We estimate that 52 nmol/l was the threshold concentration for plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D above which no further suppression of PTH occurred. Below and above this concentration the slopes of the regression lines were À0.18 (different from 0; P ¼ 0.003) and À0.01 (P ¼ 0.775), respectively. The relation between vitamin D status and parathyroid hormone concentration did not differ between women with low, medium or high calcium intakes (P ¼ 0.611); however, even in the highest tertile of calcium intake, mean calcium intake was only 657 mg/d. Conclusion: On the basis of maximal suppression of PTH we estimate an optimal 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration of B 50 nmol/l. Many women had a 25-hydroxyvitamin D below this concentration and may benefit from improved vitamin D status.
Glycaemic responses following ingestion of glucose and several rice varieties are appreciably greater in Chinese compared with Europeans, suggesting the need to review recommendations regarding dietary carbohydrate amongst rice-eating populations at high risk of diabetes.
ACTRN12613000832774 FUNDING: : This study was supported by grants from the University of Otago and the New Zealand Artificial Limb Service. Glycated albumin reagents were provided by Asahi Kasei.
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