The Metabolic Response to Ingestion of Proline with and without Glucose

Frank Q. Nuttall, Mary C. Ganno, Kelly Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Ingested protein results in an increase in circulating insulin and glucagon concentrations and no change, or a slight decrease, in circulating glucose. In subjects with type 2 diabetes, when protein is ingested with glucose, insulin is further increased and the glucose rise is less than when glucose is ingested alone. Presumably these effects are due to the amino acids present in the proteins. The effects of individual amino acids, ingested in physiologic amounts, with or without glucose, have not been determined. Therefore, we have begun a systematic study of the response to ingested amino acids. Eight young, non-obese, subjects (4 men, 4 women) ingested 1 mmol proline/kg lean body mass, 25 g glucose, 25 g glucose + 1 mmol proline/kg lean body mass or water only on 4 separate occasions at 8 AM. Blood was obtained before and after ingestion of the test meal over the following 150 minutes. Proline ingestion resulted in a 13-fold increase in the plasma proline concentration. This was decreased by 50% when glucose was ingested with proline. Proline alone had little effect on glucose, insulin, or glucagon concentrations. However, ingestion of proline with glucose resulted in a 23% attenuation of the glucose area response and no change in insulin response compared with the response to that of glucose alone. A glucose-stimulated decrease in glucagon was further facilitated by proline. Ingested proline is readily absorbed. It reduces the glucose-induced increase in glucose concentration in the presence of an unchanged insulin and a decreased glucagon response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-246
Number of pages6
JournalMetabolism: clinical and experimental
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004

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