Insulin secretion and clearance were studied in 2 groups of 7 normal subjects who each received 25, 50, and 100 g of glucose either orally or intravenously (iv) on separate occasions. Insulin secretion rates were calculated during a 1-h base line and for 5 h after glucose administration from a two-compartmental analysis of peripheral C-peptide concentrations using individual kinetic parameters derived after iv bolus injections of biosynthetic human C-peptide. Incremental glucose areas after oral or iv glucose increased as a function of the glucose dose (P = 0.0001). Incremental insulin secretion increased with increasing doses of both oral and iv glucose (P = 0.0001). The metabolic clearance rate (MCR) of endogenous insulin was calculated as the ratio of the total area under the insulin secretion rate curve and the simultaneous peripheral insulin concentration curve. The basal MCR was 1,879.5 +/- 110.5 ml/min (mean +/- SE). The poststimulatory MCR decreased with increasing doses of both oral and iv glucose concomitant with the greater insulin secretory response (P = 0.0014). This decrease in insulin clearance was not significantly different between oral and iv administration of glucose (P = 0.495). In conclusion diminished insulin clearance may be seen after marked stimulation of insulin secretion with larger doses of oral and iv glucose.