The effect of wolffia globosa mankai, a green aquatic plant, on postprandial glycemic response: A randomized crossover controlled trial

Hila Zelicha, Alon Kaplan, Anat Yaskolka Meir, Gal Tsaban, Ehud Rinott, Ilan Shelef, Amir Tirosh, Dov Brikner, Efrat Pupkin, Lu Qi, Joachim Thiery, Michael Stumvoll, Nora Kloting, Martin Von Bergen, Uta Ceglarek, Matthias Blüher, Meir J. Stampfer, Iris Shai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE To compare the postprandial and overnight glycemic response using a novel green aquatic plant thought to provide a dietary source for high-quality protein, with an iso-carbohydrate/protein/caloric dairy shake. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS This is a randomized controlled crossover trial among 20 abdominally obese participants (age 51.4 years; fasting plasma glucose 110.9 mg/dL), who were allocated to replace dinner with either, first, a green shake containing Wolffia globosa duckweed (Mankai: Specific-strain) or an iso-carbohydrate/protein/calorie yogurt shake. A 2-week flash glucose-monitoring system was used to assess postmeal glucose dynamics (6 net administration days; 97 observation days in total). We further obtained from each participant dietary/daily activity/satiety scale/ sleep logs. Participants were recruited from the green-Mediterranean diet arm of the 18-month Dietary Intervention Randomized Controlled Trial-Polyphenols Unprocessed (DIRECT-PLUS) study. RESULTS Wolffia globosa Mankai elicited a lower postprandial glucose peak compared with yogurt (Δpeak = 13.4 ± 9.2 vs. 19.3 ± 15.1 mg/dL; P = 0.044), which occurred later (77.5±29.2 vs. 59.2±28.4 min; P = 0.037) and returned faster to baseline glucose levels (135.8±53.1 vs. 197.5±70.2 min; P = 0.012). Themeanpost-net incremental area under the curve (netAUC)was lower with Wolffia globosa up to 60 and 180 min (netAUC 60 min: 185.1 ± 340.1 vs. 441.4 ± 336.5 mg/dL/min, P = 0.005; netAUC 180 min: 707.9 ± 1,428.5 vs. 1,576.6 ± 1,810.1 mg/dL/min, P = 0.037). A Wolffia globosa-based shake replacing dinner resulted in lower next-morning fasting glucose levels (83.2 ± 0.8 vs. 86.6 ± 13 mg/dL; P = 0.041). Overall, postprandial glucose levels from the shake administration until the next morning were lower in the Wolffia globosa Mankai green shake compared with the yogurt shake (P < 0.001). Overnight sleep duration was similar (378.2±22.4 vs. 375.9±28.4 min; P = 0.72), and satiety rank was slightly higher for the Wolffia globosa shake compared with the yogurt shake (7.5 vs. 6.5; P = 0.035). CONCLUSIONS Wolffia globosa Mankai duckweed may serve as an emerging alternative plant protein source with potential beneficial postprandial glycemic effects.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1162-1169
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetes Care
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing


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