The body of science exploring how our body tolerates glucose suggests that our body’s ability to tolerate glucose diminishes in the evening compared to in the morning, even in normal-weight individuals.
“Therefore, even in healthy, non-diabetic people, the use of non-pharmacologic therapies, such as the control of dietary and fitness habits, to protect against impaired glucose tolerance during the night is recommended,” wrote researchers from Japanese chemical conglomerate Kao Corporation in a study published this week in Nutrients.
In a clinical trial, they found a significant difference in glucose response. It was more suppressed after participants consumed a tablet of wheat albumin before dinner compared to a placebo, though no significant changes was observed in insulin response.
“Wheat albumin may be a useful food constituent for glycemic control during the night,” they wrote.
What is wheat albumin?
Wheat albumin is a globular protein derived from, as the name suggests, wheat.
According to Kao Corporation’s researchers, wheat albumin has a long history of consumption in humans. Previous studies have suggested that wheat albumin may protect against blood sugar spikes after meals.
Citing a 2013 epidemiology study on dinner patterns in Japanese adults, the researchers emphasized a correlation between higher BMI and metabolic risk factors to late-evening meals.
Because of some evidence pointing to wheat albumin’s potential in inhibiting carbohydrate digestion and absorption, it made a “good candidate for night care,” the researchers added.
Twenty Japanese males aged 30 to 60 years participated in the study. The study had two two-day segments with a weeklong ‘washout’ period between them.
For the first segment, participants ate a designated breakfast and lunch before they visited a hospital to have their anthropometric and blood measurements collected. At 10 PM, they ingested test tablets (either placebo or wheat albumin) before eating dinner.
The participants were then instructed to go to sleep at midnight until 7 AM the next day, during which blood sampling was collected intravenously.
After a washout period, the participants went through the same protocol, this time ingesting a different tablet from what they ingested in the first period.
Published online, doi: 10.3390/nu11010187
“Glucose Response during the Night Is Suppressed by Wheat Albumin in Healthy Participants: A Randomized Controlled Trial”
Authors: Shinichiro Saito, et al.