Effect of Kenyan Finger Millet and White Maize Flours on Postprandial Glycemic Response in Healthy Individuals

Irine Chepngetich


Cases of diabetes have been on the rise in Kenya. Kenya’s prevalence of type 2 diabetes has now surpassed WHO estimate of between 1 – 6% with incidence being as high as 14 % in the urban areas. There is therefore a need to provide appropriate dietary therapies suitable to the local setting to address this increasing incidence.

The study aimed at documenting the effects of finger millet flour compared to white maize flour on the postprandial glycemic response in healthy individuals. This was meant to help diabetic patients, health practitioners, diet therapists and the public at large to make an informed choice in using finger millet flour to control of hyperglycemia. Many health practitioners in Kenya advocate, while many diabetes patients prefer use of millet flour as opposed to white maize flour mainly due to the argument that finger millet flour may have lower postprandial glycemic response. However, documentation of the glycemic response of finger millet flours as opposed to white maize flour was lacking.The study was a controlled experiment involving randomly selected apparently healthy student in the University of Nairobi, CAVS.24 participants underwent three blood sugar finger prick tests; fasting levels and two others at 45th minute and 2 hours after ingestion of test flour which was administered as porridge.The participant’s mean age, BMI and fasting blood sugars were 22.5, 22.4 years, 22.07, 21.26 kg/m2 and 3.21,3.31mmol/l for finger millet and maize respectively.The glycemic response of maize and finger millet at 45 minutes had a p<0.001 and 0.200 at 2 hours. The same response was evident between males and females.

Keywords: Glycemic response,Blood glucose ,Blood glucose level, Blood glucose meter,Body mass index (BMI)

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