Glycaemic load is associated with insulin resistance in older Australian women
O'Sullivan, Therese Anne, Bremner, Alexandra, O'Neill, Sheila, & Lyons-Wall, Philippa (2010) Glycaemic load is associated with insulin resistance in older Australian women. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 64(1), pp. 80-87.
Background: Diets with a high postprandial glycemic response may contribute to long-term development of insulin resistance and diabetes, however previous epidemiological studies are conflicting on whether glycemic index (GI) or glycemic load (GL) are dietary factors associated with the progression. Our objectives were to estimate GI and GL in a group of older women, and evaluate cross-sectional associations with insulin resistance.
Subjects and Methods: Subjects were 329 Australian women aged 42-81 years participating in year three of the Longitudinal Assessment of Ageing in Women (LAW). Dietary intakes were assessed by diet history interviews and analysed using a customised GI database. Insulin resistance was defined as a homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) value of >3.99, based on fasting blood glucose and insulin concentrations.
Results: GL was significantly higher in the 26 subjects who were classified as insulin resistant compared to subjects who were not (134±33 versus 114±24, P<0.001). In a logistic regression model, an increment of 15 GL units increased the odds of insulin resistance by 2.09 (95%CI 1.55, 2.80, P<0.001) independently of potential confounding variables. No significant associations were found when insulin resistance was assessed as a continuous variable.
Conclusions: Results of this cross-sectional study support the concept that diets with a higher GL are associated with increased risk of insulin resistance. Further studies are required to investigate whether reducing glycemic intake, by either consuming lower GI foods and/or smaller serves of carbohydrate, can contribute to a reduction in development of insulin resistance and long-term risk of type 2 diabetes.
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