The aim of this study was to measure the postprandial changes in amino acid and biogenic amine profiles in individuals with impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and to investigate the changes of postprandial amino acid and biogenic amine profiles after a meal of highland barley (HB). Firstly, 50 IFG and 50 healthy individuals were recruited for the measurement of 2 h postprandial changes of amino acid and biogenic amine profiles after a glucose load. Secondly, IFG individuals received three different loads: Glucose (GL), white rice (WR) and HB. Amino acid and biogenic amine profiles, glucose and insulin were assayed at time zero and 30, 60, 90 and 120 min after the test load. The results showed fasting and postprandial amino acid and biogenic amine profiles were different between the IFG group and the controls. The level of most amino acids and their metabolites decreased after an oral glucose tolerance test, while the postprandial level of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) increased significantly in IFG individuals. After three different test loads, the area under the curve for glucose, insulin, lysine and GABA after a HB load decreased significantly compared to GL and WR loads. Furthermore, the postprandial changes in the level of GABA between time zero and 120 min during a HB load were associated positively with 2 h glucose and fasting insulin secretion in the IFG individuals. Thus, the HB load produced low postprandial glucose and insulin responses, which induced changes in amino acid and biogenic amine profiles and improved insulin sensitivity.
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