Oat-derived beta-glucans help improve glucose control in teens with type 1 diabetes
Consumption of beta-glucans from oat at 6 g daily is beneficial to teens with type 1 diabetes (T1D), helping achieve target blood sugar levels and reduce variability, a study reports.
Thirty adolescent T1D patients (mean age, 15.61 years) participated in a three-phase intervention. In the first phase, all participants followed a standard diet programme (composition: 45–55 percent carbohydrate, 15–20 percent protein, and 30–35 percent fat). In phases 2 and 3, the children consumed natural oat flakes containing 3 g/day and 6 g/day β-glucan, respectively, in addition to their standard diet. Each phase lasted a week, with a 2-week washout period between the interventions. Glucose levels were monitored using continuous glucose monitoring.
Mean time from diagnosis of diabetes was 6.8 years, and the mean HbA1c at baseline was 8.01 percent. Total insulin doses were 1.02 U/kg/day. Results showed that the maximal, mean, daytime and night, and minimal blood glucose levels were the lowest at phase 3 (p<0.05).
Premeal and postmeal blood glucose levels were likewise lowest at phase III for breakfast, lunch, and overall (p<0.05). Likewise, the lowest peak blood glucose levels occurred at phase III for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and overall (p<0.05).
Compared with phases 1 and 2, phase 3 recorded significantly lower levels of standard deviation, coefficient of variation, continuous overall net glycaemic action, and low blood glucose index levels (p<0.05 for each).
The findings suggest that the benefits of beta-glucan supplementation are only pronounced at 6 g/day dosing, while the impact on the glycaemic profile with the addition of 3-g daily beta-glucan is similar to that obtained with standard diet alone, according to the researchers.