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Exploring the glycemic response to food intake with undergraduate students at the University of La Réunion

Abstract : Diabetes constitutes an increasingly prevalent disease, dramatically associated with an enhanced mortality risk in the developed world. A high prevalence of diabetes has recently been described at Réunion Island, a French department located in the Indian Ocean. At the University of La Réunion, a laboratory course involving students was designed to teach them blood glucose measurements and to examine the influence of food intake on their glycemic response. Using glucose meters, test strips, lancet devices, and sterile lancets, students determined their basal and postprandial glycemia. After plotting the variation over time of their glycemia, students calculated their glycemic response to a meal as the area under the curve. First, students observed that their glycemia had increased rapidly after food intake to values of \textless1.4 g/l and then decreased to normal values, proving the existence of a physiological regulatory system for glycemia. Using impedance balances, students then determined their body mass index and fat mass percentages. Positive and significant correlations were established between students' fat mass percentages and the glycemic response to the meal. A higher postprandial response was indeed noticed for students having higher fat percentages. Therefore, this laboratory allows students to observe the regulation of glycemia. It also alerts them to the correlation between higher body fat content and a higher glycemic response, which can be related to diabetic disorders. This laboratory constitutes an active illustration of their plenary lesson in endocrinology and particularly for the session dealing with glucose regulation.
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https://hal.univ-reunion.fr/hal-01198353
Contributor : Nicolas Alarcon <>
Submitted on : Friday, September 11, 2015 - 9:06:46 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 11:24:15 AM

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Evelyne Tarnus, Emmanuel Bourdon. Exploring the glycemic response to food intake with undergraduate students at the University of La Réunion. Advances in Physiology Education, American Physiological Society, 2008, 32 (2), pp.161--164. ⟨10.1152/advan.00102.2007⟩. ⟨hal-01198353⟩

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