Background: 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.
Objective: 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.
Design: Ten healthy male volunteers participated in a crossover study and consumed C-13-enriched wheat bread or pasta while receiving a primed-continuous D-[6,6-H-2(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.
Results: 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.
Conclusions: 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 controlled-trials.com as ISRCTN42106325. Am J Clin Nutr 2012; 96: 1017-24.