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Effects of a fibre-enriched milk drink on insulin and glucose levels in healthy subjects

Netta Lummela1, Riina A Kekkonen12, Tiina Jauhiainen12, Taru K Pilvi12, Tuula Tuure1, Salme Järvenpää3, Johan G Eriksson456 and Riitta Korpela12*

Author Affiliations

1 Valio Ltd, Research Center, PO Box 30, 00039 Valio, Finland

2 University of Helsinki, Institute of Biomedicine, PO Box 63, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland

3 Medcare Foundation, Hämeentie 1, 44100 Äänekoski, Finland

4 University of Helsinki, Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, PO Box 20, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland

5 National Institute for Health and Welfare, Mannerheimintie 166, 00300 Helsinki, Finland

6 Helsinki University Central Hospital, Unit of General Practice, Helsinki, Finland

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Nutrition Journal 2009, 8:45  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-8-45

Published: 1 October 2009



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.


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).


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.


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