Research on the health benefits of the baobab fruit

White bread enriched with polyphenol extracts show no effect on glycemic response or satiety, yet may increase postprandial insulin economy in healthy participants


Extracts from different plant sources have been shown to modify starch digestion from carbohydrate-rich foods and lower resulting glycemia. It was hypothesized that extracts rich in polyphenols, added to white bread, would improve the glycemic response and insulin response and increase satiety in healthy participants. An in vitro dose-response analysis was performed to determine the optimal dose of a variety of extracts (baobab fruit extract, green tea extract, grape seed extract, and resveratrol) for reducing rapidly digestible starch in white bread. The 2 extracts with the greatest sugar reducing potential were then used for the human study in which 13 volunteers (9 female and 4 male) were recruited for a crossover trial of 3 different meals. On separate days, participants consumed a control white bread, white bread with green tea extract (0.4%), and white bread with baobab fruit extract (1.88%). Glycemic response, insulin response, and satiety were measured 3 hours postprandially. Although enriched breads did not reduce glycemic response or hunger, white bread with added baobab fruit extract significantly (P < .05) reduced the total (0-180 minutes) and segmental insulin area under the curve at 0 to 90, 0 to 120, and 0 to 150 minutes, and therefore reduced the amount of insulin needed for a given blood glucose response. This preliminary research suggests that there is potential for baobab fruit extract added into white bread to improve insulin economy in healthy adults.

© 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –


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