The demonstration of a physiological benefit has recently become an indispensible element of the definition of dietary fibers. In the here-reported pilot study, the effect of alpha-cyclodextrin (alpha-CD) on the postprandial glycemic and insulinemic effect of starch was examined. Twelve fasted, healthy male volunteers received, on three subsequent days, a test breakfast consisting of (A) 100 g fresh white bread (providing 50 g starch) and 250 mL drinking water, (B) the same bread with a supplement of 10 g alpha-CD dissolved in the drinking water, and (C) 25 g alpha-CD dissolved in drinking water. Capillary and venous blood was sampled before the breakfast and in regular intervals for a three-hour period thereafter. Glucose was determined in capillary blood and insulin in the plasma of venous blood samples. Breakfast (A) led to a rapid rise in blood glucose and insulin. In breakfast (B), alpha-CD reduced the areas under the curve of blood glucose and insulin significantly by 59% and 57%, respectively, demonstrating that alpha-CD inhibits and thereby delays starch digestion. Treatment (C) was not associated with a rise of blood glucose. Hence, alpha-CD complies with the current definition of dietary fiber in every respect.
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