We studied the acute effects of oral ingestion of 50-g loads of dextrose, sucrose, and fructose on postprandial serum glucose, insulin, and plasma glucagon responses in 9 normal subjects, 10 subjects with impaired glucose tolerance, and 17 non-insulin-dependent diabetic subjects. The response to each carbohydrate was quantified when the respective carbohydrate was given alone in a drink or when given in combination with protein and fat in a test meal. The data demonstrate that (1) fructose ingestion resulted in significantly lower serum glucose and insulin responses than did sucrose or dextrose ingestion in all study groups, either when given alone or in the test meal; (2) although fructose ingestion always led to the least glycemic response compared with the other hexoses, the serum glucose response to fructose was increased the more glucose intolerant the subject; (3) urinary glucose excretion during the 3 h after carbohydrate ingestion was greatest after dextrose and least after fructose in all groups. In conclusion, fructose ingestion results in markedly lower serum glucose and insulin responses and less glycosuria than either dextrose or sucrose, both when given alone or as a constituent in a test meal. However, as glucose tolerance worsens, an increasingly greater glycemic response to fructose is seen.

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