Peripheral venous plasma insulin and C-peptide concentrations were measured in 10 healthy volunteers, given either 100 g glucose orally or sufficient intravenous (i.v.) glucose to produce similar glucose concentrations when measured in arterialized blood. The incremental areas under both the insulin and C-peptide curves were significantly increased after oral as compared with i.v. glucose administration by 229% and 138%, respectively. Arteriovenous plasma glucose differences were higher after oral glucose administration and were positively correlated with plasma insulin concentrations. Plasma gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) and insulin concentrations were measured in seven healthy volunteers given oral glucose loads ranging from 25 to 200 g. Both the magnitude and duration of the GIP and insulin responses after oral glucose ingestion were dose dependent. These results suggest that the main cause of the increase in peripheral insulin levels after large oral carbohydrate loads is augmented insulin secretion rather than reduced hepatic extraction, indicating the possibility that an enteroinsular factor does exist, in accordance with the “incretin” concept. They also emphasize the need to document both arterial and venous glucose concentrations for the correct interpretation of experiments investigating glucose homeostasiS.

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