The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of an oral glucose load on circulating insulin and glucose levels and arterial function in healthy non-diabetic subjects. Thirty-nine non-obese, healthy subjects (24 female, 15 male), aged 21.0±1.8 years of age, were randomly assigned to undergo either an OGTT (oral glucose tolerance test; 75 g of glucose) or administration of a placebo. Analyses of lipids, liver function and HbA1c (glycated haemoglobin) at baseline revealed results which were within the standard reference range. Insulin and glucose levels as well as vascular function [FMD (flow-mediated dilation)] were measured at 0, 60 and 120 min. Compared with baseline, the control subjects did not exhibit any significant changes in glucose or insulin levels, whereas, in the OGTT group, blood glucose levels at both 60 (5.4±1.7 mmol/l) and 120 (5.0±1.1 mmol/l) min increased significantly relative to baseline (4.1±0.4 mmol/l; both P<0.001) and, similarly, insulin levels were higher at both 60 (30.1±21.3 m-units/l) and 120 (34.9±23.6 m-units/l) min compared with baseline (4.7±4.3 m-units/l; both P<0.001). Although blood glucose and insulin levels changed, FMD did not significantly differ between time-points or between groups. In summary, despite significantly elevated glucose and insulin concentrations in these subjects, we observed no change in vascular function, suggesting that acute elevations of glucose and insulin within the clinically normal range are not associated with impaired vascular function in vivo.

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