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Effect on the postprandial glycaemic level of the addition of water to a meal ingested by healthy subjects and Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetic patients


The effects on postprandial glycaemic reactions of adding a glass of water to a meal were studied in 7 healthy male subjects and 20 Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetic patients for a period of up to 3 h. The subjects were served a meal of potatoes and meat, with or without 300 ml of water, in random order on two mornings after a 12-h fast. The diabetic patients were considered as well-controlled or not well-controlled according to HbA1c and blood glucose fasting values. Water addition increased the peak blood glucose (p<0.02) and serum insulin (p<0.02) levels in healthy subjects, and the blood glucose concentration in well-controlled diabetic patients (p<0.02). The addition of water also increased the overall blood glucose response, calculated as the positive incremental area, in healthy subjects by 68±25% (p<0.02) and in well-controlled diabetic patients by 40±14% (p<0.01). In poorly-controlled diabetic patients, however, the addition of water did not display significant effects, probably due to the varying fasting glycaemia in these patients. Thus, altering the physical property of a meal by dilution with water can affect the physiological responses; the results are considered to be relevant for the on-going discussion concerning the use of physiological responses to foods as a basis for diet instructions to diabetic patients.


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Torsdottir, I., Andersson, H. Effect on the postprandial glycaemic level of the addition of water to a meal ingested by healthy subjects and Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetic patients. Diabetologia 32, 231–235 (1989).

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Key words

  • Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes
  • postprandial glycaemia
  • water ingestion
  • glycaemic index