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Glycaemic index effects on fuel partitioning in humans

Authors

  • E. O. Díaz,

    1. Laboratory of Energy Metabolism and Stable Isotopes, Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), University of Chile, Macul, Santiago, Chile
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  • J. E. Galgani,

    1. Laboratory of Energy Metabolism and Stable Isotopes, Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), University of Chile, Macul, Santiago, Chile
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  • C. A. Aguirre

    1. Laboratory of Energy Metabolism and Stable Isotopes, Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), University of Chile, Macul, Santiago, Chile
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Dr EO Díaz-Bustos, Laboratory of Energy Metabolism and Stable Isotopes, Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), University of Chile, Ave El Líbano 5524, Macul, Santiago, Chile. E-mail: ediaz@inta.cl

Summary

The purpose of this review was to examine the role of glycaemic index in fuel partitioning and body composition with emphasis on fat oxidation/storage in humans. This relationship is based on the hypothesis postulating that a higher serum glucose and insulin response induced by high-glycaemic carbohydrates promotes lower fat oxidation and higher fat storage in comparison with low-glycaemic carbohydrates. Thus, high-glycaemic index meals could contribute to the maintenance of excess weight in obese individuals and/or predispose obesity-prone subjects to weight gain. Several studies comparing the effects of meals with contrasting glycaemic carbohydrates for hours, days or weeks have failed to demonstrate any differential effect on fuel partitioning when either substrate oxidation or body composition measurements were performed. Apparently, the glycaemic index-induced serum insulin differences are not sufficient in magnitude and/or duration to modify fuel oxidation.

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