British Journal of Nutrition

Short communication

Evaluation of role of concentration and molecular weight of oat β-glucan in determining effect of viscosity on plasma glucose and insulin following an oral glucose load

P. J. Wooda1 c1, M. U. Beera2 and G. Butlera3

a1 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Centre, 93 Stone Road West, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada

a2 Novartis Nutrition Research AG, CH-3176, Neuenegg, Switzerland

a3 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0C6, Canada


Data from clinical studies established that there was an inverse linear relationship between measures of postprandial blood glucose and insulin responses to an oral glucose load, consumed in a drink, and the logarithm of viscosity of the drink. These data have been re-analysed using concentration and molecular weight as the dependent variables. Molecular weight (M) of the β-glucans used was determined using high-performance size exclusion chromatography equipped with a triple detector system of right angle light scattering, viscometry and refractive index. A significant relationship between changes in peak blood glucose and a combination of logarithm of the concentration and logarithm of M was found.

(Received May 17 1999)

(Revised October 28 1999)

(Accepted January 25 2000)


c1 *Corresponding author: Dr Peter J. Wood, fax +1 519 837 9472, email