Decreased thermogenic response to an oral glucose load in older subjects

J Am Geriatr Soc. 1983 Mar;31(3):144-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.1983.tb04853.x.


The thermogenic response to a 100 g oral glucose load was studied by indirect calorimetry in 13 older persons (age range, 38-68 years) and compared with that of 16 young matched controls of similar body weight (age range, 19-30 years). The glucose-induced thermogenesis measured over 180 min and expressed as a per cent of the energy content of the glucose load was found to be reduced in the older subjects, i.e., 5.8 +/- 0.3 per cent vs 8.6 +/- 0.7 per cent, P less than 0.002). This was also accompanied by a significant decrease in the glucose oxidation rate when averaged over the same three-hour period following the glucose load, i.e., 153 mg/min vs 213 mg/min in the control subjects (P less than 0.001) despite a similar time course of glycemia. This study suggests that the thermogenic response to an oral glucose load is blunted in older people, and this may represent an additional factor that contributes to the decreased energy requirement with age and therefore to the increased propensity to obesity if energy intake is not adjusted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aging*
  • Body Temperature Regulation / drug effects*
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glucose / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Respiration / drug effects


  • Glucose