Glucose has been used successfully for more than two decades in peritoneal dialysis, and in this regard, must be considered a safe and effective osmotic agent. Recently, however, insight has been growing about the potential for metabolic and peritoneal effects arising from long-term exposure to high glucose concentrations--for example, hyperlipidemia and loss of peritoneal ultrafiltration. Clinical concerns over exposure to excessive glucose and glucose degradation products (GDPs) during peritoneal dialysis can be significantly ameliorated by the use of non-glucose-based peritoneal dialysis (PD) solutions, in combination with more biocompatible glucose-based formulations. Peritoneal exposure to GDPs can be reduced by using low-GDP-containing glucose formulations and non glucose solutions such as amino acids and icodextrin. Peritoneal glucose exposure, hyperosmolar stress, and carbohydrate absorption can be reduced by using a combination of icodextrin and amino acids.