Effects of different sweet preloads on incretin hormone secretion, gastric emptying, and postprandial glycemia in healthy humans

Tongzhi Wu, Beiyi R Zhao, Michelle J Bound, Helen L Checklin, Max Bellon, Tanya J Little, Richard L Young, Karen L Jones, Michael Horowitz, Christopher K Rayner
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2012, 95 (1): 78-83

BACKGROUND: Macronutrient "preloads" can stimulate glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), slow gastric emptying, and reduce postprandial glycemic excursions. After sweet preloads, these effects may be signaled by sodium-glucose cotransporter-1 (SGLT1), sweet taste receptors, or both.

OBJECTIVE: We determined the effects of 4 sweet preloads on GIP and GLP-1 release, gastric emptying, and postprandial glycemia.

DESIGN: Ten healthy subjects were studied on 4 separate occasions each. A preload drink containing 40 g glucose, 40 g tagatose/isomalt mixture (TIM), 40 g 3-O-methylglucose (3OMG; a nonmetabolized substrate of SGLT1), or 60 mg sucralose was consumed 15 min before a (13)C-octanoic acid-labeled mashed potato meal. Blood glucose, plasma total GLP-1 and GIP, serum insulin, and gastric emptying were determined.

RESULTS: Both glucose and 3OMG stimulated GLP-1 and GIP release in advance of the meal (each P < 0.05), whereas TIM and sucralose did not. The overall postprandial GLP-1 response was greater after glucose, 3OMG, and TIM than after sucralose (P < 0.05), albeit later after TIM than the other preloads. The blood glucose and insulin responses in the first 30 min after the meal were greatest after glucose (each P < 0.05). Gastric emptying was slower after both 3OMG and TIM than after sucralose (each P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: In healthy humans, SGLT1 substrates stimulate GLP-1 and GIP and slow gastric emptying, regardless of whether they are metabolized, whereas the artificial sweetener sucralose does not. Poorly absorbed sweet tastants (TIM), which probably expose a greater length of gut to nutrients, result in delayed GLP-1 secretion but not in delayed GIP release. These observations have the potential to optimize the use of preloads for glycemic control. This trial was registered at as ACTRN12611000775910.

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