Effects of a beetroot juice with high neobetanin content on the early-phase insulin response in healthy volunteers

Peter C Wootton-Beard, Kirsten Brandt, David Fell, Sarah Warner, Lisa Ryan

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Produce rich in phytochemicals may alter postprandial glucose and insulin responses by interacting with the pathways that regulate glucose uptake andinsulin secretion in humans. The aims of the present study were to assess the phytochemical constituents of red beetroot juice and to measure the postprandialglucose and insulin responses elicited by either 225 ml beetroot juice (BEET), a control beverage matched for macronutrient content (MCON) or aglucose beverage in healthy adults. Beetroot juice was a particularly rich source of betalain degradation compounds. The orange/yellow pigment neobetaninwas measured in particularly high quantities (providing 1·3 g in the 225 ml). A total of sixteen healthy individuals were recruited, and consumed the testmeals in a controlled single-blind cross-over design. Results revealed a significant lowering of the postprandial insulin response in the early phase (0–60min) (P < 0·05) and a significantly lower glucose response in the 0–30 min phase (P < 0·05) in the BEET treatment compared with MCON. Betalains,polyphenols and dietary nitrate found in the beetroot juice may each contribute to the observed differences in the postprandial insulin concentration.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberE9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nutritional Science
Issue numbere9
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • postprandial glycaemia
  • phytochemicals
  • betalains


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