Glucose ingestion affects cardiac ANS in healthy subjects with different amounts of body fat

Giuseppe Paolisso, Daniela Manzella, Nicola Ferrara, Antonio Gambardella, Pasquale Abete, Maria Rosaria Tagliamonte, Domenico De Lucia, Giuseppe Furgi, Costantino Picone, Salvatore Gentile, Franco Rengo, Michele Varricchio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Low-to-high frequency ratio (LF/HF) is an indirect index of sympathovagal balance derived by heart rate spectral analysis. We investigated the effect of glucose ingestion on LF/HF in 17 healthy, normotensive young subjects (9 male, 8 female) with a wide body fat content range (body fat = 29 ± 5.9%; range = 19-42%) and a normal thyroid hormone status. Before and after an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), the Holier technique and indirect calorimetry allowed us to determine heart rate and substrate oxidation in all subjects. At baseline, LF/HF correlated with body fat (r = 0.60, P <0.005), waist-to-hip ratio (r = 0.57, P <0.01), fasting plasma insulin (r = 0.55, P <0.04), leptin (r = 0.56, P <0.01 ), and norepinephrine (r = 0.58, P <0.009) concentrations. Age-, body fat-, content-, and fat-free mass-adjusted respiratory quotient (r = 0.59, P <0.007) and basal metabolic rate (r = 0.61, P <0.001) were also correlated with basal LF/HF. Along with OGTT plasma glucose, insulin and norepinephrine concentrations and basal LF/HF significantly rose at 60 min and then declined throughout the test. Area under the curve (AUC) for LF/HF correlated with body fat (r = -0.66, P <0.004), fasting plasma leptin concentration (r = -0.57, P <0.01), glucose induced thermogenesis (r = 0.62, P <0.001), glucose uptake (r = 0.59, P <0.007), and AUC for plasma norepinephrine concentration (r = 0.63, P <0.001). Water instead of glucose ingestion does not significantly affect LF/HF (n = 8). In conclusion, our study supports the hypothesis that glucose ingestion affects LF/HF and that such change is related to the amount of body fat.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe American journal of physiology
Issue number3 PART 1
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Autonomie nervous system (ANS)
  • Body fat content
  • Plasma leptin levels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)


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