A study conducted at the Universidade Federal de São Paulo, and published in the British Journal of Nutrition demonstrates benefits of green banana biomass consumption in subjects with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

A study conducted in the Department of Medicine of Escola Paulista de Medicina, Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo (EPM/UNIFESP), concluded that consumption of resistant starch from green banana biomass was able to reduce blood glucose, systolic blood pressure, anthropometric parameters, such as body mass index, hip and waist circumferences, and modify body composition, reducing percent fat mass and increasing percent lean mass in individuals with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Entitled ‘Beneficial Effects of Green Banana Biomass Consumption in Patients with Pre-diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes: a Randomized Controlled Trial’, the research received the cooperation of researchers from Universidade de Santo Amaro (UNISA) and Universidade de São Paulo (USP), and was accepted for publication in this issue of the British Journal of Nutrition.

One-hundred and forty-two middle-aged individuals of both sexes with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes were screened, and 113 were randomly assigned to receive nutrition counseling with addition of 40g of green banana biomass (equivalent of 4.5g of resistant starch) consumed with the diet (intervention group), or nutrition counseling alone (control group) for six months.

Body composition, biochemical parameters and food consumption were determined at baseline and end of study and comparisons within and between groups were made. “Long-term studies evaluating the resistant starch efficacy in individuals with diabetes or pre-diabetes are scarce in the literature. Therefore, the aim of our study was to investigate the effects of a 24-week supplementation with resistant starch from green banana biomass on changes in levels of HbA1c, fasting plasma glucose, HOMA-IR, and body composition in subjects with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes”, says Dr. Maria Cristina Izar, Professor at the Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo and coordinator of the research.

Green banana biomass contains significant amounts of resistant starch that is carbohydrate polymers that cannot be converted to glucose. The physiologic effects of resistant starches are similar to those of dietary fibres, slowing gastric emptying, increasing satiety, improving insulin secretion, and producing short-chain fatty acids by fermentation in the large intestine.“Resistant starches can modify postprandial glycaemia, prevent hypoglycaemia, and reduce hyperglycaemia” says Maria Cristina Izar.

“Based on our results we can say that resistant starch from green banana biomass can be an inexpensive and attractive nutrition option to improve glucose control and body composition of individuals with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes” explains Maria Cristina Izar.

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