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Acute and Second-meal Effects of Almonds in Prediabetes

Inclusion of almonds in the breakfast meal decreased blood glucose concentrations….

Nut consumption may reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The aim of the current study was to measure the acute and second-meal effects of morning almond consumption and determine the contribution of different nut fractions.

Fourteen impaired glucose tolerant (IGT) adults participated in a randomized, 5-arm, crossover design study where whole almonds (WA), almond butter (AB), defatted almond flour (AF), almond oil (AO) or no almonds (vehicle – V) were incorporated into a 75 g available carbohydrate-matched breakfast meal. Postprandial concentrations of blood glucose, insulin, non-esterified free fatty acids (NEFA), glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and appetitive sensations were assessed after treatment breakfasts and a standard lunch.

WA significantly attenuated second-meal and daylong blood glucose incremental area under the curve (AUCI) and provided the greatest daylong feeling of fullness. AB and AO decreased blood glucose AUCI in the morning period and daylong blood glucose AUCI was attenuated with AO. WA and AO elicited a greater second-meal insulin response, particularly in the early postprandial phase, and concurrently suppressed the second-meal NEFA response. GLP-1 concentrations did not vary significantly between treatments.

From the results it was concluded that almonds in the breakfast meal decreased blood glucose concentrations and increased satiety both acutely and after a second-meal in adults with IGT. The lipid component of almonds is likely responsible for the immediate post-ingestive response, although it cannot explain the differential second-meal response to AB versus WA and AO.

In summary, inclusion of almonds in the breakfast meal of IGT adults decreased blood glucose concentrations and increased satiety acutely and after a second meal. The lipid component of the almond appears to be largely responsible for the immediate post-ingestive response, although it cannot account for the second-meal response. Overall, daylong glucose, insulin and NEFA concentrations were attenuated in the WA and AO treatments, indicating an improved hormonal profile with their consumption. Importantly, the absolute magnitude of the blood glucose-lowering response equals that achieved with acute administration of acarbose in individuals with IGT, suggesting the physiological relevance and applicability of the current findings.

Nutr Metab. 2011;8(1)