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Metabolism. 2012 Mar;61(3):358-65. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2011.07.011. Epub 2011 Sep 23.

A higher-carbohydrate, lower-fat diet reduces fasting glucose concentration and improves β-cell function in individuals with impaired fasting glucose.

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Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA.


The objective was to examine the effects of diet macronutrient composition on insulin sensitivity, fasting glucose, and β-cell response to glucose. Participants were 42 normal glucose-tolerant (NGT; fasting glucose <100 mg/dL) and 27 impaired fasting glucose (IFG), healthy, overweight/obese (body mass index, 32.5 ± 4.2 kg/m(2)) men and women. For 8 weeks, participants were provided with eucaloric diets, either higher carbohydrate/lower fat (55% carbohydrate, 18% protein, 27% fat) or lower carbohydrate/higher fat (43:18:39). Insulin sensitivity and β-cell response to glucose (basal, dynamic [PhiD], and static) were calculated by mathematical modeling using glucose, insulin, and C-peptide data obtained during a liquid meal tolerance test. After 8 weeks, NGT on the higher-carbohydrate/lower-fat diet had higher insulin sensitivity than NGT on the lower-carbohydrate/higher fat diet; this pattern was not observed among IFG. After 8 weeks, IFG on the higher-carbohydrate/lower-fat diet had lower fasting glucose and higher PhiD than IFG on the lower-carbohydrate/higher-fat diet; this pattern was not observed among NGT. Within IFG, fasting glucose at baseline and the change in fasting glucose over the intervention were inversely associated with baseline PhiD (-0.40, P < .05) and the change in PhiD (-0.42, P < .05), respectively. Eight weeks of a higher-carbohydrate/lower-fat diet resulted in higher insulin sensitivity in healthy, NGT, overweight/obese individuals, and lower fasting glucose and greater glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in individuals with IFG. If confirmed, these results may have an impact on dietary recommendations for overweight individuals with and without IFG.

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