Diet and glycaemia: The markers and their meaning. A report of the Unilever Nutrition Workshop

Marjan Alssema, Hanny M. Boers, Antonio Ceriello, Eric S. Kilpatrick, David J. Mela, Marion G. Priebe, Patrick Schrauwen, Bruce H. Wolffenbuttel, Andreas F H Pfeiffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Consumption of carbohydrate-containing foods leads to transient postprandial rises in blood glucose concentrations that vary between food types. Higher postprandial glycaemic exposures have particularly been implicated in the development of chronic cardiometabolic diseases. Reducing such diet-related exposures may be beneficial not only for diabetic patients but also for the general population. A variety of markers have been used to track different aspects of glycaemic exposures, with most of the relevant knowledge derived from diabetic patients. The assessment of glycaemic exposures among the non-diabetic population may require other, more sensitive markers. The present report summarises key messages of presentations and related discussions from a workshop organised by Unilever intended to consider currently applied markers of glycaemic exposure. The particular focus of the meeting was to identify the potential applicability of glycaemic exposure markers for studying dietary effects in the non-diabetic population. Workshop participants concluded that markers of glycaemic exposures are sparsely used in intervention studies among non-diabetic populations. Continuous glucose monitoring remains the optimal approach to directly assess glycaemic exposure. Markers of glycaemic exposure such as glycated Hb, fructosamine, glycated albumin, 1,5-anhydroglucitol and advanced glycation end products can be preferred dependent on the aspect of interest (period of exposure and glucose variability). For all the markers of glycaemia, the responsiveness to interventions will probably be smaller among the non-diabetic than among the diabetic population. Further validation and acceptance of existing glycaemic exposure markers applied among the non-diabetic population would aid food innovation and better design of dietary interventions targeting glycaemic exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-248
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 28 2015


  • Diet
  • Fructosamine
  • Glycaemia
  • Glycated Hb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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