Barliv barley betafiber might play a role in improving insulin sensitivity among generally healthy individuals who have moderately elevated blood sugar levels. A peer-reviewed paper, published Aug. 16 in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism, describes results of a recent clinical trial. People in the trial who consumed 6g/day of Barliv barley betafiber also had a 3.9 percent reduction of body fat in the hips, buttocks and thighs, despite maintaining their weight during the study as instructed.
The 12-week randomized, placebo controlled, double blind, clinical trial, conducted at Louisville Metabolic & Atherosclerosis Research Center (Louisville, Ky.) and KGK Synergize (London, Ontario) assessed the impact of barley beta-glucan (Barliv barley betafiber) on glucose levels and insulin sensitivity. Ineffective handling of glucose and insulin resistance is markers for increased risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases.
The 50 healthy participants – each at risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus because they had "prediabetic" elevated blood sugar levels – were randomized into three groups: placebo and 3g/day or 6g/day of Barliv barley betafiber (in the form of a flavored water beverage). Because weight changes can impact both of these variables, the researchers took steps to ensure that the participants kept their weight constant during the trial period. The findings suggest that 6g/day of Barliv barley betafiber over 12 weeks was well-tolerated and can improve insulin sensitivity among generally healthy people with pre-diabetes who have no prior diagnosis of diabetes mellitus.
Results of this trial are especially promising for the epidemic number of people worldwide who are pre-diabetic and who are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
"Since this study demonstrated that barley betafiber improved glycemic parameters despite no change in body weight, this suggests that it may have glycemic benefits in humans beyond effects of weight loss," says lead researcher, Dr. Harold Bays.
The other somewhat surprising finding was that subjects who consumed 6g of Barliv daily for 12 weeks lost 3.9 percent body fat from their hips, buttocks and thighs. That's enough to enable a typical adult woman to move to a smaller pants size.
"Incredibly, this change in fat distribution happened without effort, and is thought to be related to Barliv's positive impact on insulin resistance," says Lore Kolberg, associate director, Cargill Regulatory and Scientific Affairs (www.barliv.com).
These findings expand the health benefits of Barliv barley betafiber, a natural soluble fiber developed by Minneapolis-based Cargill (www.cargill.com), beyond its cholesterol reduction capability, which is backed by an FDA health claim (Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include g per day of beta-glucan soluble fiber from barley betafiber may reduce the risk of heart disease.)