Novel fibers from maize, including Promitor brand soluble corn fiber and resistant starch, show promise in developing food formulations with a lower glycemic index, according to results of a University of Toronto study published in the December issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

London-based Tate & Lyle, P.L.C. commissioned the study and also offers Promitor soluble corn fiber and resistant starch.

The study involved 12 healthy people with a body mass index of 24.9. They consumed a variety of maize sources, including pullulan, Promitor Soluble Corn Fiber 70, Promitor Resistant Starch 60, Promitor Resistant Starch 70, soluble fiber dextrin and blends of pullulan and Promitor Soluble Corn Fiber 70.

All the fibers and combination products resulted in glycemic and insulinemic responses that were reduced significantly when compared to the glucose control.

"These data indicate that the fibers tested contain carbohydrates that resist digestion and absorption in the small intestine and may be of value in the formulation of foods that produce lower glycemic responses," the researchers wrote. "Limiting postprandial blood glucose fluctuations is increasingly being advocated for the control of diabetes and improving overall health.

"However, further assessment of these fibers in beverages and foods is required to determine their effectiveness in decreasing risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and improving glycemic control."

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