Incretin and islet hormone responses to meals of increasing size in healthy subjects.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Context: Postprandial glucose homeostasis is regulated through the secretion of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) through stimulation of insulin secretion and inhibition of glucagon secretion. However, how these processes dynamically adapt to demands created by caloric challenges achieved during daily life is not known. Objective: To explore adaptation of incretin and islet hormones after mixed meals of increasing size in healthy subjects. Design: Twenty-four healthy lean subjects ingested a standard breakfast after an overnight fast followed, after four hours, by a lunch of different size (511, 743 and 1034 kcal) but with identical nutrient composition together with 1.5g paracetamol. Glucose, insulin, C-peptide, glucagon, intact glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and paracetamol were measured after the meals. Main outcome measure: Area under the 180 min curve (AUC) for insulin, C-peptide, glucagon, GLP-1 and GIP and model- derived ß-cell function and paracetamol appearance. Results: Glucose profiles were similar after the two larger meals whereas after the smaller meal, there was a post-peak reduction below baseline to nadir of 3.8±0.1mmol/l after 75min (p<0.001). AUC for GLP-1, GIP, insulin and C-peptide were significantly higher by increasing the caloric load as was β-cells sensitivity to glucose. In contrast, AUC glucagon was the same for all three meals, although there was an increase in glucagon after the postpeak glucose reduction in the smaller meal. The 0-20 min paracetamol appearance was increased by increasing meal size. Conclusion: Mixed lunch meals of increasing size elicit a caloric dependent insulin response due to increased β-cell secretion achieved by increased GIP and GLP-1 levels. The adaptation at larger meals results in identical glucose excursions, whereas after a lower caloric lunch the insulin response is high resulting in postpeak suppression of glucose below baseline.


  • Wathik Alsalim
  • Bilal Omar
  • Giovanni Pacini
  • Roberto Bizzotto
  • Andrea Mari
  • Bo Ahrén
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-568
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch

Related research output

Wathik Alsalim, 2020, Lund: Lund University, Faculty of Medicine. 69 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

View all (1)