Research on the health benefits of the baobab fruit

Impact of polyphenol-rich sources on acute postprandial glycaemia: a systematic review


Increasingly, evidence suggests a role for polyphenols in blood glucose control. The objective of this systematic review was to evaluate the effect of polyphenol-rich sources in combination with carbohydrate sources on resulting postprandial glycaemic and insulin responses. A literature search was conducted using Medline, CINHAL and Web of Science databases. Selected studies included randomised controlled trials in which the association of polyphenol-containing food or beverage consumption with a carbohydrate source and effect on acute postprandial glycaemia and/or insulin was reported. A total of thirteen full articles were included in the review. Polyphenol sources included coffee, black tea, fruit juice, plant extracts, berries and different rye breads, and carbohydrate sources included bread, pancakes and simple sugars such as sucrose, glucose and fructose. Although glycaemic and insulin responses differed depending on the polyphenol–carbohydrate combination, overall, polyphenol sources were shown to reduce the peak and early-phase glycaemic response and maintain the glycaemic response in the later stages of digestion. To a lesser extent, polyphenol sources were also shown to reduce peak insulin response and sustain the insulin response, especially when consumed with bread. This review supports epidemiological data suggesting that polyphenols in foods and beverages may have a beneficial effect on reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, the extent of this effect is variable depending on the polyphenol and carbohydrate source.

©Journal of Nutritional Science (2016), vol. 5, e24


Shelly Coe

  • Functional Food Centre, Oxford Brookes University, Gipsy Lane, Oxford OX3 OBP, UK

Lisa Ryan

  • Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Monash University, 264 Ferntree Gully Rd., Notting Hill, VIC 3168, Australia
  • Department of Natural Sciences, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Dublin Rd., Galway, Ireland