L-rhamnose as a source of colonic propionate inhibits insulin secretion but does not influence measures of appetite or food intake

Julia Darzi, Gary S Frost, Jonathan R Swann, Adele Costabile, M Denise Robertson

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Activation of free fatty acid receptor (FFAR)2 and FFAR3 via colonic short-chain fatty acids, particularly propionate, are postulated to explain observed inverse associations between dietary fiber intake and body weight. Propionate is reported as the predominant colonic fermentation product from l-rhamnose, a natural monosaccharide that resists digestion and absorption reaching the colon intact, while effects of long-chain inulin on appetite have not been extensively investigated. In this single-blind randomized crossover study, healthy unrestrained eaters (n = 13) ingested 25.5 g/d l-rhamnose, 22.4 g/d inulin or no supplement (control) alongside a standardized breakfast and lunch, following a 6-d run-in to investigate if appetite was inhibited. Postprandial qualitative appetite, breath hydrogen, and plasma glucose, insulin, triglycerides and non-esterified fatty acids were assessed for 420 min, then an ad libitum meal was provided. Significant treatment x time effects were found for postprandial insulin (P = 0.009) and non-esterified fatty acids (P = 0.046) with a significantly lower insulin response for l-rhamnose (P = 0.023) than control. No differences between treatments were found for quantitative and qualitative appetite measures, although significant treatment x time effects for meal desire (P = 0.008) and desire to eat sweet (P = 0.036) were found. Breath hydrogen was significantly higher with inulin (P = 0.001) and l-rhamnose (P = 0.009) than control, indicating colonic fermentation. These findings suggest l-rhamnose may inhibit postprandial insulin secretion, however neither l-rhamnose or inulin influenced appetite.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-9
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

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