Effects of glucose, galactose, and lactose ingestion on the plasma glucose and insulin response in persons with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

Metabolism. 1993 Dec;42(12):1560-7. doi: 10.1016/0026-0495(93)90151-d.


Galactose usually is ingested as lactose, which is composed of equimolar amounts of glucose and galactose. The contribution of galactose to the increase in glucose and insulin levels following ingestion of equimolar amounts of galactose and glucose, or lactose, has not been reported in people with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Therefore, we studied the effects of galactose ingestion alone, as well as with glucose either independently or in the form of lactose, in subjects with untreated NIDDM. Eight male subjects with untreated NIDDM ingested 25 g glucose, 25 g galactose with or without 25 g glucose, or 50 g lactose as a breakfast meal in random sequence. They also received 50 g glucose on two occasions as a reference. Water only was given as a control meal. Plasma galactose, glucose, glucagon, alpha-amino nitrogen (AAN), nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA), and serum insulin and C-peptide concentrations were determined over a 5-hour period. The integrated area responses were quantified over the 5-hour period using the water control as a baseline. Following ingestion of 25 g galactose, the maximal increase in plasma galactose concentration was 1 mmol/L. The mean maximal increases in plasma galactose concentration following ingestion of 25 g galactose + 25 g glucose or following 50-g lactose meals were similar and were only 12% of that following ingestion of galactose alone (P < .05). The mean galactose area response over the water control for the 25-g galactose meal was 0.95 +/- 0.31 mmol.h/L.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • C-Peptide / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates*
  • Eating
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Galactose / metabolism
  • Galactose / pharmacology*
  • Glucagon / blood
  • Glucose / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Kinetics
  • Lactose / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors


  • Blood Glucose
  • C-Peptide
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Insulin
  • Glucagon
  • Glucose
  • Lactose
  • Galactose