Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Glycemic Index Values Are Surprisingly Variable, Researchers Report

Date:
September 28, 2007
Source:
Tufts University, Health Sciences
Summary:
Researchers are reporting that multiple glycemic index value determinations using a simple test food, white bread, resulted in a relatively high level of inter-individual and intra-individual variability. Further studies will focus on better defining the magnitude and the sources of the variability. The intent is to better understand how glycemic index relates to chronic disease risk in a range of individuals.

In work investigating the reproducibility of glycemic index values, researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University (USDA HNRCA) have reported that multiple glycemic index value determinations (measure of the rate of glucose absorption into the bloodstream) using a simple test food, white bread, resulted in a relatively high level of inter-individual (among different individuals), and intra-individual (within the same individual) variability.

Related Articles


Further studies will focus on better defining the magnitude and the sources of the variability. The intent is to better understand how glycemic index relates to chronic disease risk in a wide range of individuals.

Alice Lichtenstein, DSc, corresponding author and director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA and colleagues assessed 14 study participants' glycemic response to 50 grams of carbohydrate in the form of white bread (test food) and glucose dissolved in water (control food) on different days. This experiment was repeated three times with each individual.

"Using glucose as the control food, previous studies indicate that white bread has a glycemic index of about 70," says Lichtenstein, who is also the Gershoff professor of nutrition science and policy at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts. "In our study the combined average was 71, virtually identical to the published value. However, quite strikingly, individual values ranged from 44 to 132. What is critical is to determine why there is such a wide range of responses among individuals.

In addition, within the same individual, test values varied by as much as 42 percent. "These results show that perhaps using glycemic index for groups is a reasonable indicator to predict chronic disease risk, but there is still considerable uncertainty when applying glycemic index to individuals," explains Lichtenstein.

Glycemic index is a scale applied to foods based on how quickly the glucose in foods is absorbed into the blood stream, relative to pure glucose. Some nutrition professionals use the glycemic index as a tool for people trying to control blood sugar, such as those with diabetes. Others use the mean glycemic index of diets to predict chronic disease risk in large groups of people. Potential confounding factors, such as the fiber or fat content of the food, are not directly factored into the calculations.

"There are many factors that can influence the glycemic index of a food," says Lichtenstein. "For example, a piece of white bread may have a high glycemic index but, if a person eats a slice of turkey and cheese with that bread, the effect of the multiple foods may result in a different glycemic index than if that person had eaten the white bread alone. Since most food is consumed as combinations during meals and snacks, there is a need to assess the significance of using glycemic index values determined on individual foods for food mixtures. Similarly, it is important to know whether the food consumed prior to a meal or snack alters subsequent glycemic response.

It is possible that we need to develop better research tools and more stringent applications for glycemic index determinations," she says. "Larger studies of diverse populations are needed to determine why inter-individual, and particularly intra-individual, glycemic index values are so variable. If we can identify the source of the variability, it will allow for more insight into the applications of the glycemic index as a tool for both researchers and in public health messages."

Lichtenstein and colleagues have received a five-year grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to further their understanding of the glycemic index and its utilities. The current study was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service.

Reference: Vega-Lopez S, Ausman LM, Griffith JL, Lichtenstein AH. Diabetes Care. 2007 (June); 30 (6): 1412-1417. "Interindividual Variability and Intra-Individual Reproducibility of Glycemic Index Values for Commercial White Bread."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Tufts University, Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Tufts University, Health Sciences. "Glycemic Index Values Are Surprisingly Variable, Researchers Report." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070926094725.htm>.
Tufts University, Health Sciences. (2007, September 28). Glycemic Index Values Are Surprisingly Variable, Researchers Report. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070926094725.htm
Tufts University, Health Sciences. "Glycemic Index Values Are Surprisingly Variable, Researchers Report." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070926094725.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins