Inhibition of the glycaemic response by onion : a comparison between lactose-tolerant and lactose-intolerant adults
This pilot study compared inhibition of the glycaemic response to glucose by a dietary source of quercetin glucosides (onion) in lactose-tolerant adults (n = 12) and lactose-intolerant adults (n = 12). We hypothesised that lactose-intolerant people (who do not express lactase) will retain intact quercetin glucosides that can inhibit glucose uptake via the glucose transporter SGLT1 whereas lactose-tolerant people (who do express lactase) will hydrolyse quercetin glucosides to free quercetin which does not inhibit glucose uptake. In a glucose tolerance test, reduction of peak glucose levels by an onion meal was higher in lactose-intolerant people than lactose-tolerant people (44.2% versus 19.3%, p = 0.04). Incremental area under the blood glucose curve was reduced more in lactose-intolerant people, but was not statistically significantly (54.5% versus 42.1%, p = 0.42). A diet containing quercetin glucosides may be of greater benefit for glycaemic control in lactose-intolerant people than in lactose-tolerant people.