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Korean J Fam Med. 2009 Oct;30(10):790-795. Korean. Original Article.
Yoo YS , Lee KS , Cho KH , Kim DH , Park CH , Lee SH , Lee JH .
Department of Family Medicine, Korea University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Family Medicine, Gachon University Gil Medical Center, Incheon, Korea.

BACKGROUND: It is regarded that contemporary Korean diet, the combination of carbohydrates-based Korean traditional diet and the Western eating patterns, increases the vulnerability to chronic diseases such as coronary vascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension. Therefore, there is a rising interest in carbohydrate sources with low glycemic index; many researches have proven the medical benefits of low glycemic index diet. Barley has recently drawn attention and various benefits of barley, such as improvements of obesity and bowel function, have been suggested. It seems that the beta-glucan, a content of barley helps to lower blood sugar level. This study aimed to evaluate the advantages of barley consumption compared to wheat consumption in blood sugar and blood lipid profile levels. METHODS: Twenty-four healthy Korea University students were randomly assigned to two groups: 12 of barley bread consumption group (treatment group) and 12 of wheat bread consumption group (control group). Both groups took bread on an empty stomach and the changes of their blood sugar and lipid levels were measured, compared, and analyzed every hour for four hours. RESULTS: The blood sugar level one hour later in the barley bread consumption group was statistically low. In addition, the area under curve of the barley bread intake group was found to be statistically smaller. However, the blood lipid profiles between the two groups did not show meaningful difference. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that the consumption of food containing barley could bring various medical benefits to one's health by lowering blood sugar.

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