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Metabolism. 1975 Apr;24(4):495-503.

Metabolic effects of increased caloric intake in man.


In order to determine if increased caloric intake could be responsible for the insulin resistance and elevated plasma glucose, insulin, and triglyceride levels commonly associated with obesity, hypercaloric diets were fed for 3 wk to eight normal subjects, and the metabolic consequences of this diet were assessed before significant weight gain had occurred. One wk of increased caloric intake led to statistically significant increases in fasting plasma insulin (22 per cent), glucose (5 per cent), and triglyceride (30 per cent) levels, as well as an increased insulin response (20 per cent) to oral glucose. Since the average weight gain during this period was only 1.6 kg, the observed changes appear to be secondary to increased caloric consumption, not obesity. Most of these changes returned toward baseline values during the succeeding 2 wk of increased caloric intake, but statistically significant elevations of fasting plasma glucose (10 per cent), insulin (8 per cent) and cholesterol (15 per cent) levels were still seen at the end of the hypercaloric dietary period. On the other hand, insulin resistance, as estimated by direct measurement of insulin responsiveness, did not change as a result of 3 wk of increased caloric intake. These results indicate that acute increases in caloric intake can lead to elevated plasma glucose, insulin, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. These changes occurred before significant weight gain had taken place, and raised the possibility that at least some of the abnormalities of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism attributed to obesity may be due to increased caloric intake. However, this conclusion would not seem to apply to the insulin resistance associated with obesity, as 3 wk of increased caloric intake did not produce any change in the responsiveness of these subjects to insulin's action.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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