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Liquid thickener linked to lower blood sugar after meal, study says

Liquid thickener linked to lower blood sugar after meal, study says

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A new study shows that liquid thickeners lower blood sugar after a meal, which may help patients with heart disease or type 2 diabetes, according to researchers at Tokyo Medical and Dental University. File photo by Shutterstock/UPI/Image Point Fr

Dec. 27 (UPI) — Researchers in Japan have linked a xanthan gum-based liquid thickener to lowering blood sugar after a meal, which may help patients with heart disease or type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by researchers at Tokyo Medical and Dental University, found that xanthan gum – which is used in several foods, including liquid thickeners to prevent choking in patients – helps increasing insulin responseimprove fat metabolism and have a positive effect on the gut microbiome.

While previous studies have shown that heart disease and metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes, are linked to postprandial blood glucose levels, certain foods such as vinegar have been reported to help lower glucose levels if consumed with food. Dietary fiber, such as xanthan gum, also produces a similar effect.

“Xanthan gum is a viscous soluble fiber that forms a non-diffusible aqueous layer that affects the rate of diffusion of nutrients into the intestinal lumen…and inhibits nutrient absorption by prolonging absorption time,” says the study.

“However, the biological effects of the liquid thickener on postprandial blood glucose levels, gene expression in the gastrointestinal tract, and the gut microbiome are not fully understood,” the study added.

In the study, researchers used two groups of rats, with one group receiving a liquid xanthan gum-based thickener and the other group receiving saline for five weeks.

The results showed that blood sugar levels 60 to 90 minutes after a meal were significantly lower in rats that received the thickened liquid.

“The mechanism by which this happened is very interesting. Giving thickened fluid lowers blood sugar levels associated with diabetes Glp1 and Glp1r expression in the ileum,” said senior author Haruka Tohara.

The study also found that the microbial composition of the gut also changes after drinking the concentrated liquid, leading to an increase in the number of two “good” gut bacteria that produce short-chain fatty acids that protect the intestinal and pancreatic cells responsible for insulin secretion .


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