A randomized, blinded trial of uncooked cornstarch to diminish nocturnal hypoglycemia at diabetes camp

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 1995 Dec;30(3):205-9. doi: 10.1016/0168-8227(95)01192-7.


Objective: To determine if uncooked cornstarch, as part of the evening snack, can avert nocturnal hypoglycemia in type 1 diabetes.

Research design and methods: Fifty-one campers and counselors at the American Diabetes Association Camp in San Bernardino, CA were randomly assigned to receive 5 g of uncooked cornstarch as part of the 21:00 evening snack vs. a standard snack of equivalent carbohydrate content. Each snack was given for five nights and the participants and medical personnel were blinded as to assignment. Midnight and 07:00 finger stick blood glucose levels were compared with values <60 mg/dl defined as hypoglycemia and values > 250 mg/dl defined as hyperglycemia.

Results: There were 218 midnight and 222 07:00 values for comparison. There were six episodes of hypoglycemia at midnight and nine episodes of hypoglycemia at 07:00 for the cornstarch snack nights vs. 30 hypoglycemia episodes at midnight and 21 at 07:00 for the standard snack nights (P < 0.001 and <0.05, respectively). There was no difference in the number of hyperglycemic events at midnight or 07:00 for the cornstarch vs. standard snack nights. At midnight, 12% of campers had hypoglycemia after the cornstarch snack vs. 46% after the standard snack (P < 0.001), and at 07:00, 16% had hypoglycemia after cornstarch vs. 26% after the standard snack (P = 0.327).

Conclusions: These data suggest that uncooked cornstarch, as part of the evening snack, can diminish the nighttime and morning hypoglycemia associated with type 1 diabetes, without causing hyperglycemia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / drug therapy
  • Hypoglycemia / epidemiology
  • Hypoglycemia / prevention & control*
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Starch / therapeutic use*


  • Starch