Oral sensory stimulation improves glucose tolerance in humans: Effects on insulin, C-peptide, and glucagon
In animals, bypassing the oropharyngeal receptors by intragastric administration of glucose results in glucose intolerance. To determine whether the absence of oral sensory stimulation alters glucose tolerance in humans, we monitored plasma levels of glucose and hormones after intragastric administration of glucose, with and without subjects tasting food. Plasma glucose area under the curve (AUC) was significantly lower after oral sensory stimulation (3,433 +/- 783 vs. 5,643 +/- 1,397 mg.dl-1. 195 min-1; P < 0.03; n = 8). Insulin and C-peptide AUCs were higher during the first one-half of the sampling period (insulin, 5,771 +/- 910 vs. 4,295 +/- 712 microU. ml-1.75 min-1; P < 0.05; C-peptide, 86 +/- 10 vs. 66 +/- 9 ng.ml-1. 75 min-1; P < 0.03) and lower during the second one-half of the sampling period compared with the control condition (1,010 +/- 233 vs. 2,106 microU.ml-1. 120 min-1; P < 0.025; 31 +/- 8 vs. 56 +/- 18 ng.ml-1. 120 min-1; P < 0.05; insulin and C-peptide, respectively). Oral sensory stimulation markedly increased plasma glucagon compared with the control condition (1,258 +/- 621 vs. -2,181 +/- 522 pg.ml-1. 195 min-1; P < 0.002). These data provide evidence in humans that oral sensory stimulation influences glucose metabolism and suggest that the mechanisms elicited by this cephalic stimulation are necessary for normal glucose homeostasis.
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