Food and Behaviour Research

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Appetite regulating hormones are reduced after oral sucrose vs glucose: influence of obesity, insulin resistance and sex

Yunker A, Luo S, Jones S, Dorton H, Alves J, Angelo B, DeFendis A, Pickering T, Monterosso J, Page K (2020) The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism  

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Fructose compared to glucose has adverse effects on metabolic function, but endocrine responses to oral sucrose vs glucose is not well understood.


We investigated how oral sucrose vs glucose impacted appetite regulating hormones, and how biological factors (body mass index [BMI], insulin sensitivity, sex) influence endocrine responses to these two types of sugar.


69 adults [29 male; 23.22 ± 3.74 years; BMI 27.03 ± 4.96 kg/m 2] completed the study. On two occasions, participants consumed 300mL drinks containing 75g of glucose or sucrose. Blood was sampled at baseline, 10, 35, and 120 minutes post-drink for plasma glucose, insulin, glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1)(7-36), peptide YY (PYY)total, and acyl-ghrelin measures. Hormone levels were compared between conditions using a linear mixed model. Interaction models were performed, and results were stratified to assess how biological factors influence endocrine responses.


Sucrose vs glucose ingestion provoked a less robust rise in glucose (p<0.0001), insulin (p<0.0001), GLP-1 (p<0.0001), and PYY (p=0.02), whereas acyl-ghrelin suppression was similar between the sugars. We found BMI status by sugar interactions for glucose (p=0.01) and PYY (p=0.03); obese individuals had smaller increases in glucose and PYY levels after consuming sucrose vs glucose. There were interactions between insulin sensitivity and sugar for glucose (p=0.003) and insulin (p=0.04), and a sex by sugar interaction for GLP-1 (p=0.01); males demonstrated smaller increases in GLP-1 in response to oral sucrose vs glucose.


Sucrose is less efficient at signaling postprandial satiation than glucose, and biological factors influence differential hormone responses to sucrose vs glucose consumption.