Insulin resistance and beta-cell dysfunction in aging: the importance of dietary carbohydrate

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1988 Nov;67(5):951-7. doi: 10.1210/jcem-67-5-951.

Abstract

Aging is associated with a progressive decrease in glucose tolerance. This decrease is associated with insulin resistance and beta-cell dysfunction. This study was performed to evaluate the possible role of dietary factors in the glucose intolerance of aging. Two groups of men were studied: one young (Y; n = 8; age range, 18-36 yr) and one elderly (E; n = 10; age range, 65-82 yr). Frequently sampled iv glucose tolerance tests were performed in random order: 1) during ad libitum home dietary conditions; 2) after a 3- to 5-day regimen of very high (85%) carbohydrate intake; and 3) after a 3- to 5-day regimen of low (30%) carbohydrate intake (Y only). From the frequently sampled iv glucose tolerance test data, we calculated the glucose disappearance rate (Kg) and metabolic parameters according to the minimal model method, including the insulin sensitivity index (S1) and the first and second phase beta-cell responsivity to glucose (phi 1 and phi 2). The elderly men, while eating an ad libitum diet, were less tolerant to glucose than the young [mean Kg: E = 1.5 +/- 0.2% (+/- SE) min-1; Y = 2.3 +/- 0.3% min-1; P less than 0.025], had relative insulin resistance (mean Si: Y = 6.1 +/- 1.1; E = 2.4 +/- 0.7 min-1 10(-4)/(microU/mL) [0.85 +/- 0.15 vs. 0.33 +/- 0.10 min-1 10(-4)/(pmol/L)]; P less than 0.01), and lesser second phase beta-cell responsiveness to glucose (mean phi 2: Y = 18.5 +/- 3.6; E = 8.7 +/- 2.7 (microU/mL).min-2/(mg/dL) [2390 +/- 465 vs. 1120 +/- 349 (pmol/L).min-2/(mmol/L)]; P less than 0.05). A maximum improvement in Kg and S1 occurred at 41% carbohydrate feeding in the young men, whereas in the elderly men there was a significant increase in both of these parameters while eating the very high (85%) carbohydrate diet. Thus, the difference in glucose tolerance between groups was corrected by the very high carbohydrate diet (mean Kg: Y = 2.2 +/- 0.2%; E = 2.0 +/- 0.3%/min; P greater than 0.05), as was the age-related difference in insulin sensitivity (mean S1: Y = 5.6 +/- 1.2; E = 4.4 +/- 1.3 min-1 10(-4)/(microU/mL) [0.78 +/- 0.17 vs. 0.61 +/- 0.18 min-1 10(-4)/(pmol/L)]; P greater than 0.5).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / pharmacology*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Islets of Langerhans / drug effects
  • Islets of Langerhans / physiology*
  • Male

Substances

  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Insulin