Recent research indicates that the gut bacterial flora may affect the metabolism including appetite, and the reviewed study evaluated the effects of a whole grain barley kernel product on markers of metabolism and appetite regulation in healthy people (Johansson EV,et al. 2013).Boiled barley kernels were compared with white wheat bread as a late evening meal to young adults. Blood samples were taken the next day during standardized breakfast and lunch meals and analyzed for glucose, insulin, IL-6 (an inflammatory marker),free fatty acids and specific hormones. Appetite sensation and voluntary food intake was also evaluated.
The results were very interesting. The barley kernel evening meal decreased fasting free fatty acids and IL-6, decreased blood glucose, decreased a hormone, decrease the voluntary food intake the next day and reduced perceived hunger after the meal. The researchers thought the results may be caused by gut microbial fermentation of the barley kernels.
NOTE: If you want to try this, just remember that whole barley kernels were used in this study, not pearled barley like you find in most grocery stores. Try a natural food market, they may have it. Also, barley contains gluten, so if you don’t tolerate gluten, this is not for you.