Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

The glycaemic index values of foods containing fructose are affected by metabolic differences between subjects

Abstract

Background/Objectives:

Glycaemic responses are influenced by carbohydrate absorption rate, type of monosaccharide absorbed and the presence of fat; the effect of some of these factors may be modulated by metabolic differences between subjects. We hypothesized that glycaemic index (GI) values are affected by the metabolic differences between subjects for foods containing fructose or fat, but not for starchy foods.

Subjects/Methods:

The GI values of white bread (WB), fruit leather (FL) and chocolate-chip cookies (CCC) (representing starch, fructose and fat, respectively) were determined in subjects (n=77) recruited to represent all 16 possible combinations of age (40, >40 years), sex (male, female), ethnicity (Caucasian, non-Caucasian) and body mass index (BMI) (25, >25 kg/m2) using glucose as the reference. At screening, fasting insulin, lipids, c-reactive protein (CRP), aspartate transaminase (AST) and waist circumference (WC) were measured.

Results:

There were no significant main effects of age, sex, BMI or ethnicity on GI, but there were several food × subject-factor interactions. Different factors affected each food's area under the curve (AUC) and GI. The AUC after oral glucose was related to ethnicity, age and triglycerides (r2=0.27); after WB to ethnicity, age, triglycerides, sex and CRP (r2=0.43); after CCC to age and weight (r2=0.18); and after FL to age and CRP (r2=0.12). GI of WB was related to ethnicity (r2=0.12) and of FL to AST, insulin and WC (r2=0.23); but there were no significant correlations for CCC.

Conclusions:

The GI values of foods containing fructose might be influenced by metabolic differences between –subjects, whereas the GI of starchy foods might be affected by ethnicity. However, the proportion of variation explained by subject factors is small.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5

References

  • Aldughpassi A, Wolever TMS (2009). Effect of coffee and tea on the glycaemic index of foods: no effect on mean but reduced variability. Brit J Nutr 101, 1282–1285.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bajaj M, Suraamornkul S, Pratipanawatr T, Hardies LJ, Pratipanawatr W, Glass L et al. (2003). Pioglitazone reduces hepatic fat content and augments splanchnic glucose uptake in patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes 52, 1364–1370.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Barclay AW, Petocz P, McMillan-Price J, Flood VM, Prvan T, Mitchell P et al. (2008). Glycemic load and chronic disease risk-a meta-analysis of observational studies. Am J Clin Nutr 87, 627–637.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Benton D, Ruffin M-P, Lassel T, Nabb S, Messaoudi M, Vinoy S et al. (2003). The delivery rate of dietary carbohydrates affects cognitive performance in both rats and humans. Psychopharmacology 166, 86–90.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Björk I, Liljeberg H, Östman E (2000). Low glycaemic-index foods. Brit J Nutr 83 (Suppl 1), S149–S155.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bruttomesso D, Pianta A, Mari A, Valerio A, Marescotti MC, Avogaro A et al. (1999). Restoration of early rise in plasma insulin levels improves the glucose tolerance of Type 2 diabetic patients. Diabetes 48, 99–105.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Chen MR, Bergman RN, Pacini G, Porte D (1985). Pathogenesis of age-related glucose intolerance in man: insulin resistance and decreased β-cell function. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 60, 13–20.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Clausen JO, Borch-Johnsen K, Ibsen H, Bergman RN, Hougaard P, Winther K et al. (1996). Insulin sensitivity index, acute insulin response, and glucose effectiveness in a population-based sample of 380 young healthy caucasians: analysis of the impact of gender, body fat, physical fitness and life-style factors. J Clin Invest 98, 1195–1209.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Cody RP, Smith JK (1997). Applied Statistics and the SAS Programming Language 4th edn Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ.

    Google Scholar 

  • Coutinho M, Gerstein HC, Wang Y, Yusuf S (1999). The relationship between glucose and incident cardiovascular events. A metaregression analysis of published data from 20 studies of 95,783 individuals followed for 12.4 years. Diabetes Care 22, 233–240.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Decode study group on behalf of the European Diabetes Epidemiology Group (1999). Glucose tolerance and mortality: comparison of WHO and American diabetes association diagnostic criteria. Lancet 354, 617–621.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • DeMarco HM, Sucher KP, Cisar CJ, Butterfield GE (1999). Pre-exercise carbohydrate meals: application of glycemic index. Med Sci Sports Exerc 31, 164–170.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • DeVries JW (2007). Glycemic index: the analytical perspective. Cereal Foods World 52, 45–49.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Dickinson S, Colagiuri S, Faramus E, Patocz P, Brand-Miller JC (2002). Postprandial hyperglycemia and insulin sensitivity differ among lean young adults of different ethnicities. J Nutr 132, 2574–2579.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ferrannini E, Balkau B (2002). Insulin: in search of a syndrome. Diab Med 19, 724–729.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Haffner SM (2006). The metabolic syndrome: inflammation, diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease. Am J Cardiol 97, 3A–11A.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Haffner SM, D’Agostino R, Mohammed F, Saad MF, Rewers M, Mykkanen L et al. (1996). Increased insulin resistance and insulin secretion in nondiabetic African-Americans and Hispanics compared with non-Hispanic whites: the insulin resistance atherosclerosis study. Diabetes 45, 742–748.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hare-Bruun H, Nielson BM, Grau K, Oxlund AL, Heitmann BL (2008). Should glycemic index and glycemic load be considered in dietary recommendations? Nutr Rev 66, 569–590.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Harris MI, Flegal KM, Cowie CC, Eberhardt MS, Goldstein DE, Little RR et al. (1998). Prevalence of diabetes, impaired fasting glucose, and impaired glucose tolerance in US adults. The third national health and nutrition examination survey, 1988–1994. Diabetes Care 21, 518–524.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hwang J-H, Perseghin G, Rothman DL, Cline GW, Magnusson I, Falk Petersen K et al. (1995). Impaired net hepatic glycogen synthesis in insulin-dependent diabetic subjects during mixed meal ingestion. A 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy study. J Clin Invest 95, 783–787.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Jenkins DJA, Wolever TMS, Taylor RH, Barker HM, Fielden H, Baldwin JM et al. (1981). Glycemic index of foods: a physiological basis for carbohydrate exchange. Am J Clin Nutr 34, 362–366.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Laakso M (1993). How good a marker is insulin level for insulin resistance? Am J Epidemiol 137, 959–965.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Lam TKT, Gutierrez-Juarez R, Pocai A, Bhanot S, Tso P, Schwartz GJ et al. (2007). Brain glucose metabolism controls the hepatic secretion of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. Nature Med 13, 171–180.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Lê KA, Tappy L (2006). Metabolic effects of fructose. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab 9, 469–745.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lewis GF, Carpentier A, Adeli K, Giacca A (2002). Disordered fat storage and mobilization in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Endocr Rev 23, 201–229.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Mathers J, Wolever T (2002). Digestion and metabolism of carbohydrates. In: Gibney MJ, Vorster HH and Kok FJ (eds) Introduction to Human Nutrition. Blackwell Science: Oxford, UK, pp 69–80.

    Google Scholar 

  • Moghaddam E, Vogt JA, Wolever TMS (2006). The effects of fat and protein on glycemic responses in nondiabetic humans vary with waist circumference, fasting plasma insulin, and dietary fiber intake. J Nutr 136, 2506–2511.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Owen B, Wolever TMS (2003). Effect of fat on glycaemic responses in normal subjects: a dose-response study. Nutr Res 23, 341–347.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Perry GH, Dominy NJ, Claw KG, Lee AS, Fiegler H, Redon R et al. (2007). Diet and the evolution of human amylase gene copy number variation. Nat Genet 39, 1256–1260.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Pi-Sunyer FX (2002). Glycemic index and disease. Am J Clin Nutr 76 (Suppl), 290S–298S.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ross SW, Brand JC, Thorburn AW, Truswell AS (1987). Glycemic index of processed wheat products. Am J Clin Nutr 46, 631–655.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Serkova NJ, Jackman M, Brown JL, Liu T, Hirose R, Roberts JP et al. (2006). Metabolic profiling of livers and blood from obese Zucker rats. J Hepatol 44, 956–962.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Su CC, Wang K, Hsia TL, Chen CS, Tung TH (2006). Association of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease with abnormal aminotransferase and postprandial hyperglycemia. J Clin Gastroenterol 40, 551–554.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wolever TMS (2006). The Glycaemic Index: A Physiological Classification of Dietary Carbohydrate. CABI International: Wallingford, UK, p 26.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Wolever TMS (2008). The glycemic index in the management of obesity. Endocrinol Rounds 8 URL: www.endocrinologyrounds.ca.

  • Wolever TMS, Gibbs AL, Spolar M, Hitchner EV, Heimowitz C (2006a). Equivalent glycemic load (EGL): a method for quantifying the glycemic responses elicted by low carbohydrate foods. Nutr Metab 3, 33.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wolever TMS, Ip B, Moghaddam E (2006b). Measuring glycaemic responses: duplicate fasting samples or duplicate measures of one fasting sample? Brit J Nutr 96, 799–802.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wolf BW, Humphrey PM, Hadley CW, Maharry KS, Garleb KA, Firkins JL (2002). Supplemental fructose attenuates postprandial glycemia in Zucker fatty fa/fa rats. J Nutr 132, 1219–1223.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wu C, Khan SA, Lange AJ (2005). Regulation of glycolysis—role of insulin. Exp Gerontol 40, 894–899.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Young KWH, Wolever TMS (1998). Effect of volume and type of beverage consumed with a standard test meal on postprandial blood glucose responses. Nutr Res 18, 1857–1863.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Ag West Bio, Inc., Saskatoon, Sasketchewan, Canada. Strawberry Fruit Bars were kindly donated by SunOpta, Inc., Brampton ON, and Montana Chocolate Chip Cookies were kindly donated by Kinnikinnic Foods Inc., Edmonton, AB. TMSW, ALJ and VV are principals and part-owners of Glycemic Index Laboratories, Inc. (GIL). JC is an employee of GIL.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to T M S Wolever.

Additional information

Contributors: TMSW conceived of the study, AJ, VV and JC contributed to its ultimate design. TMSW, AJ and VV obtained funding. TMSW analysed the data and drafted the manuscript which AJ, VV and JC reviewed for critical content.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Wolever, T., Jenkins, A., Vuksan, V. et al. The glycaemic index values of foods containing fructose are affected by metabolic differences between subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr 63, 1106–1114 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2009.30

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2009.30

Keywords

  • metabolism and nutrition
  • nutrition physiology
  • dietary carbohydrates
  • humans
  • methodology
  • glycemic index

This article is cited by

Search

Quick links