Postprandial hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia, and insulin resistance increase the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular disease mortality. Postprandial hyperinsulinemia and hyperglycemia also occur in metabolically healthy subjects consuming high-carbohydrate diets particularly after evening meals and when carbohydrate loads follow acute exercise. We hypothesized the involvement of dietary carbohydrate load, especially when timed after exercise, and mediation by the glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP) in this phenomenon, as this incretin promotes insulin secretion after carbohydrate intake in insulin-sensitive, but not in insulin-resistant states.
Four groups of eight metabolically healthy weight-matched postmenopausal women were provided with three isocaloric meals (a pre-trial meal and two meals during the trial day) containing either 30% or 60% carbohydrate, with and without two-hours of moderate-intensity exercise before the last two meals. Plasma glucose, insulin, glucagon, GIP, glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), free fatty acids (FFAs), and D-3-hydroxybutyrate concentrations were measured during 4-h postprandial periods and 3-h exercise periods, and their areas under the curve (AUCs) were analyzed by mixed-model ANOVA, and insulin resistance during fasting and meal tolerance tests within each diet was estimated using homeostasis-model assessment (HOMA-IR).
The third low-carbohydrate meal, but not the high-carbohydrate meal, reduced: (1) evening insulin AUC by 39% without exercise and by 31% after exercise; (2) GIP AUC by 48% without exercise and by 45% after exercise, and (3) evening insulin resistance by 37% without exercise and by 24% after exercise. Pre-meal exercise did not alter insulin-, GIP- and HOMA-IR- lowering effects of low-carbohydrate diet, but exacerbated evening hyperglycemia.
Evening postprandial insulin and GIP responses and insulin resistance declined by over 30% after three meals that limited daily carbohydrate intake to 30% compared to no such changes after three 60%-carbohydrate meals, an effect that was independent of pre-meal exercise. The parallel timing and magnitude of postprandial insulin and GIP changes suggest their dependence on a delayed intestinal adaptation to a low-carbohydrate diet. Pre-meal exercise exacerbated glucose intolerance with both diets most likely due to impairment of insulin signaling by pre-meal elevation of FFAs.
Li (2016) "Third Exposure to a Reduced Carbohydrate Meal Lowers Evening Postprandial Insulin and GIP Responses and HOMA-IR Estimate of Insulin Resistance." PlosOne