International Health News

Rye bread may help protect against diabetes

KUOPIO, FINLAND. The loss of acute insulin response (AIR) is one of the first signs of impending type 2 diabetes. It is believed that the reduction in AIR is tied in with exhaustion of pancreatic beta cells. Researchers at the University of Kuopio now report that the regular consumption of high fiber rye bread significantly increases AIR. Their clinical trial involved 20 postmenopausal women (average age of 59 years) who were randomized to replace their usual intake of cereals and bread with either high fiber rye bread (17% dietary fiber) or ordinary wheat bread (2.8% dietary fiber) for two 8-week periods interspersed with an 8-week wash-out period. The breads were consumed in a quantity sufficient to provide 20% of daily energy requirements. At the end of the 8-week rye bread period the average AIR had increased by 9.9% in the rye bread group as compared to only 2.8% in the wheat bread group. The researchers conclude that high fiber rye bread appears to enhance insulin secretion. This may be due to an improvement in pancreatic beta cell function and could be important in the prevention of glucose intolerance and diabetes.
Juntunen, Katri S., et al. High-fiber rye bread and insulin secretion and sensitivity in healthy postmenopausal women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 77, February 2003, pp. 385- 91

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