Sunfiber blunts blood sugar spikes among glucose intolerant subjects, study shows

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Guar - Cyamopsis tetragonolobus L © iStockPhoto yogesh_more
Guar - Cyamopsis tetragonolobus L © iStockPhoto yogesh_more

Related tags Blood glucose levels Nutrition

Japanese ingredient supplier Taiyo has announced the results of a peer-reviewed pilot study that explores the effect its Sunfiber ingredient has on blunting postprandial blood glucose spikes among glucose intolerant subjects.

Taiyo has built up an extensive suite of research backing its Sunfiber soluble fiber ingredient, which is a proprietary form of partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG).  Scott Smith, vice president of Taiyo International, said in the past the ingredient has been studied for its effects on maintaining health cholesterol levels, regularity (both constipation and diarrhea), ameliorating IBS symptoms, promoting satiety and aiding in appetite control and others.

The most recent study, conducted by a team led by Dr Mahendra Kapoor and published in the Journal of Functional Foods​, looked at the ingredient’s effects on metabolic syndrome, specifically among subjects who were already showing signs of glucose intolerance.  The results came from an observational study conducted on 12 middle-aged Japanese subjects who ranged from slightly overweight to significantly overweight (BMI ranging from about 25.5 to about 29.5).  The subjects consumed 6 grams of Sunfiber with three meals a day for three months, when effects were measured. They were not asked to modify their diets, exercise habits or general lifestyle. They continued on the regimen for a total of 12 months to confirm the results.

Kapoor and his team found that Sunfiber used in this way resulted in:

  • Significantly reduced postprandial blood glucose levels of up to 50%
  • Significantly reduced postprandial insulin and triglyceride levels
  • Lowered LDL (bad) cholesterol and increased HDL (good) cholesterol levels
  • Reduced inflammatory markers including C-reactive protein
  • Significantly reduced body mass index, particularly measurable in waist circumference. 

“It is highly recommended that soluble dietary fiber PHGG consumption might be included in the regular dietary management (meals or beverages) of healthy non-diabetes individuals to prevent the type-2 diabetic syndromes. Overall, this preliminary study could be plausibly linked to the epidemiological association between dietary fiber intake and reduced risk for metabolic syndrome,”​ Kapoor said.

Post meal response

The 18g daily dosage of Sunfiber equates to more than 80% of the daily fiber intake recommended for adults by health authorities.  This dosage far exceeds what can be found in the marketplace for dietary supplements that already contain Sunfiber, which has been on the market for a number of years. Smith said Kapoor and his team chose the high dosage specifically to look at the effects on immediate post prandial glucose spikes.

“Dr. Kapoor et al chose a dose of 6g/meal for their study. Since every meal results in the spike of glucose due to ingestion of carbohydrates, it is logical to test the response of Sunfiber intake together with each meal to know its response on post-prandial glucose levels. So his study does not mean that the subjects require 18g/day (6g/meal x 3 times) to reduce the post-prandial glucose levels, but rather that 6g/meal is effective to reduce 50% of post-prandial glucose uptake,”​ said Smith, who collaborated with Dr T.P. Rao of Taiyo Kagaku on his responses to questions posed by NutraIngredients-USA.

Kapoor’s study builds on previous research done on Sunfiber’s effects on blood glucose levels. Smith said previous research shows that Sunfiber shows a dose response and efficacy at a dose as low as 3g/serving for the reduction of post-prandial glucose levels, though to achieve these effects it must be taken with a meal.

Smith said that while this study was done on Japanese subjects, Taiyo has done research in a variety of geographies featuring a number of diets, including those based on wheat as well as on rice as the primary carbohydrate source.

Source:Journal of Functional Foods
Volume 24, June 2016, Pages 207-220
“Soluble dietary fibre partially hydrolysed guar gum markedly impacts on postprandial hyperglycaemia, hyperlipidaemia and incretins metabolic hormones over time in healthy and glucose intolerant subjects.”
Authors: Mahendra P. Kapoor *, Noriyuki Ishihara, Tsutomu Okubo

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