The role of glucose-stimulated release of GLP-1 in the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes is unclear. We assessed GLP-1 response to oral glucose in a large study population of lean and obese men and women with normal and impaired glucose regulation. Circulating concentrations of glucose, insulin, and GLP-1 during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) were analyzed in individuals with normal glucose tolerance (NGT) (n = 774), prediabetes (n = 525), or screen-detected type 2 diabetes (n = 163) who attended the Danish ADDITION-PRO study (n = 1,462). Compared with individuals with NGT, women with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes had 25% lower GLP-1 response to an OGTT, and both men and women with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes had 16-21% lower 120-min GLP-1 concentrations independent of age and obesity. Obese and overweight individuals had up to 20% reduced GLP-1 response to oral glucose compared with normal weight individuals independent of glucose tolerance status. Higher GLP-1 responses were associated with better insulin sensitivity and β-cell function, older age, and lesser degree of obesity. Our findings indicate that a reduction in GLP-1 response to oral glucose occurs prior to the development of type 2 diabetes and obesity, which can have consequences for early prevention strategies for diabetes.
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