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Saturday, October 03, 2009

Fiber Enriched Lactose-Free Milk Passes Test

Lactose is a sugar. Sugar is a carbohydrate. Carbohydrates affect insulin levels, and are therefore a concern for diabetics.

So what about lactose-free milks? In normal commercial lactose-free milk the lactose is not physically removed from the milk. It is broken down - digested - into the simple sugars glucose and galactose. So the sugar problem remains.

What if fiber were added to the milk? Could that make a positive difference?

Apparently it can, judging by a report that was just published in the Journal of Nutrition, 2009 Oct 1;8(1):45. [Epub ahead of print]

"Effects of a fibre enriched milk-drink on insulin and glucose levels in healthy subjects," by Lummela N, Kekkonen RA, Jauhiainen T, Pilvi TK, Tuure T, Jarvenpaa S, Eriksson JG, Korpela R.

Here's the abstract:

BACKGROUND: The glycaemic response to foods is dependent on the quality and content of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates in the form of dietary fibre have favourable effects on insulin and glucose metabolism and may help to control energy intake. Dairy products have a relatively low carbohydrate content, and most of the carbohydrate is in the form of lactose which causes gastrointestinal symptoms in part of the population. In order to avoid these symptoms, dairy products can be replaced with lactose-free dairy products which are on the market in many parts of the world. However, the effects of lactose-free products on insulin and glucose metabolism have not been studied.

METHODS: In the present study, we investigated the effects of 1) a lactose-free milk drink, 2) a novel fibre-enriched, fat- and lactose-free milk drink and 3) normal fat-free milk on serum glucose and insulin levels and satiety using a randomized block design. Following an overnight fast, 26 healthy volunteers ingested 200 ml of one of these drinks on three non-consecutive days. Insulin and glucose levels and subjective satiety ratings were measured before the ingestion of the milk product and 20, 40, 60, 120 and 180 minutes after ingestion. The responses were calculated as the area under the curve subtracted by the baseline value (AUC minus baseline).

RESULTS: The insulin response was significantly lower for the fibre-enriched milk drink than it was for the other milk products (AUC, P=0,007). There were no differences in the response for glucose or in the AUC for the subjective satiety ratings between the studied milk products.

CONCLUSIONS: The present results suggest that this novel milk drink could have positive effects on insulin response.

As always, there's no way to know when or if this new milk will make it to your local supermarket. The good news is that research into lactose-free milk is not only continuing but seemingly more active than it has been in a long while. That has to mean more and better lactose-free milks available in the future.

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1 comment:

Neil Kevin said...

It will be nice to have supermarket choices in addition to Lactaid. That being said, those of us who live near Trenton, NJ are very lucky to live near Halo Farms, the best lactose free milk that I've ever had.Good post