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Glycemic index and heart disease

Leeds, Anthony R.
American journal of clinical nutrition 2002 v.76 no.1 pp. 286S-289S
apolipoprotein B, chromium, clinical trials, coronary vessels, cross-sectional studies, fatty acid composition, glucose, glycemic index, heart, high carbohydrate diet, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, myocardial ischemia, noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, plasminogen activator, prospective studies
A diet high in carbohydrates with high glycemic indexes (GI) and glycemic load were linked to risk of coronary heart disease development in women in a large prospective study. Two cross-sectional studies showed that low-GI diets are associated with high HDL-cholesterol concentrations, especially in women. In a tightly controlled study of patients with type 2 diabetes, serum total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B concentrations fell more significantly after a low-GI diet than after a high-GI diet. In the same study, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 concentrations were reduced by 58% after the low-GI diet. Insulin-stimulated glucose uptake by adipocytes was significantly higher in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery after 4 wk of consuming a low-GI diet than after consuming a high-GI diet. The effects of low-GI diets may be mediated by changes in postprandial fatty acid concentrations or by hormonal signals from adipocytes, but a possible association of low-GI diets with some other dietary factor such as chromium must not be excluded. Proof of the clinical value of low-GI diets awaits prospective trials, which should include short-term observations covering periods of metabolic stress induced by surgery as well as long-term trials with clinical endpoints.