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The relevance of the glycaemic index to our understanding of dietary carbohydrates


Dr Gary Frost, Nutrition & Dietetic Department, Hammersmith Hospital, London W12 OHS, UK. E-mail:


Aims To review the evidence for the importance of glycaemic index of dietary carbohydrate in disease prevention and control

Methods A critical appraisal of the literature published in English between and cited on Medline between January 1966 and October 1999.

Results Using basic, intervention and epidemiological studies from experienced teams, evidence that the glycaemic index of diet may influence outcome in terms of cardiovascular risk, risk of metabolic syndrome diseases and pregnancy was found

Conclusions Consideration of glycaemic indices in making dietary recommendations may be expected to produce additional health benefit.