Beta Glucans and Diabetes

What are Beta-glucans?

Beta-glucans are type of fibre (known as soluble fibre) found mainly in oats and barley.

Beta-glucans have been shown to help with lowering both blood glucose levels and cholesterol levels, making them an important part of your diet when you have diabetes. 

Both reducing spikes in blood glucose levels after meals and lowering cholesterol levels can help to lower the risk of developing diabetes-related complications such as heart, eye, nerve and kidney problems.

How do Beta-glucans work?

When eaten, Beta-glucans form a thick gel. This gel coats the inside of your small intestine, which slows down the absorption of carbohydrate from your meal.

beta glucan benefit: reduce LDL Cholesterol

As a result, the rise in your blood glucose levels after eating is reduced. 

Beta-glucans also bind with bile acids in your digestive system. These bile acids are then excreted in your stools. Bile acids contain LDL(‘bad’) cholesterol.  By binding to bile acids, beta-glucans prevent cholesterol from being reabsorbed by the body. The liver also has to take more cholesterol from the blood to replace cholesterol in your bile acids. Together, these actions help to lower cholesterol levels in your blood.

 

How much do I need to eat?

Studies have shown that you need 3-4g of beta-glucans per day to have a significant blood glucose and cholesterol lowering effect. This amount is found in about 1.5-2 cups of cooked oats or 1.25-1.5 cups of cooked barley.

 

Do I need to make other dietary changes?

Betaglucare is best combined with other dietary changes for diabetes management and cholesterol lowering including:

 

  • Choosing nutrient-dense lower glycemic index(GI) carbohydrate foods.
  • Spreading carbohydrates intake evenly over the day and/or matching intake with your diabetes medications.
  • Replacing saturated fats (found in animal foods, palm and coconut oil) with unsaturated fats found in foods like nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oil.
  • Consuming other foods high in soluble fibre regularly including legumes, some fruits and vegetables and other wholegrains.
  • Eating at least 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit each day.

What is Betaglucare?

Betaglucare is a food product made from Scandinavian oats
which can help with cholesterol lowering. Betaglucare is a concentrated source of beta-glucan – one sachet provides 3g of beta-glucans. This can make it easier
to consume the amount needed for a cholesterol-lowering effect, particularly if you don’t regularly eat oats or barley.

Betaglucare is also made from a special type of oats which contain a form of beta-glucan which has been found to be more effective at cholesterol lowering. 

Does Betaglucare have any side-effects?

Some people may experience mild bloating and increased regularity because of the high fibre content. Any symptoms are usually mild and reduce within a week with adequate fluid intake

Does Betaglucare interact with medications?

There are no known interactions with medications.

Does Betaglucare replace medications?

No but Betaglucare may be consumed to complement your cholesterol-lowering medications, or may be an alternative to medication if your cholesterol levels are only slightly elevated. It is essential to discuss any changes in your medications with your doctor.

How do I take Betaglucare?

The products can be consumed in different ways but suggestions include 1 sachet of crisp hearts eaten with milk or yoghurt and fruit or 1 sachet of powder made into a fruit smoothie for breakfast.