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Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Nov;96(5):1017-24. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.041947. Epub 2012 Sep 18.

Slowly and rapidly digestible starchy foods can elicit a similar glycemic response because of differential tissue glucose uptake in healthy men.

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Center for Medical Biomics, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands.



Previously we observed that the consumption of pasta and bread resulted in a similar glycemic response, despite a slower intestinal influx rate of glucose from the pasta. Underlying mechanisms of this effect were not clear.


The objective was to investigate the differences in glucose kinetics and hormonal response after consumption of products with slow and rapid in vivo starch digestibility but with a similar glycemic response.


Ten healthy male volunteers participated in a crossover study and consumed (13)C-enriched wheat bread or pasta while receiving a primed-continuous D-[6,6-(2)H(2)]glucose infusion. The dual-isotope technique enabled calculation of the following glucose kinetics: rate of appearance of exogenous glucose (RaE), endogenous glucose production, and glucose clearance rate (GCR). In addition, postprandial plasma concentrations of glucose, insulin, glucagon, and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) were analyzed.


GIP concentrations after pasta consumption were lower than after bread consumption and strongly correlated with the RaE (r = 0.82, P < 0.01). The insulin response was also lower after pasta consumption (P < 0.01). In accordance with the low insulin response, the GCR was lower after pasta consumption, which explained the high glycemic response despite a low RaE.


Slower intestinal uptake of glucose from a starchy food product can result in lower postprandial insulin and GIP concentrations, but not necessarily in a lower glycemic response, because of a slower GCR. Even without being able to reduce postprandial glycemia, products with slowly digestible starch can have beneficial long-term effects. These types of starchy products cannot be identified by using the glycemic index and therefore another classification system may be necessary. This trial was registered at as ISRCTN42106325.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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