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Glycemic Index and glycemic load and risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analyses of prospective cohort studies

15 / 07 / 19

Finding: A high Glycemic Index (GI) or Glycemic Load (GL) diet is strongly associated with type 2 diabetes.

Summary: This systematic review and updated meta-analyses assessed the change in risk from differences in dietary GI and GL. The researchers used random effects dose-response meta-analysis, only valid studies and withdrew spurious results. They wished to ascertain whether the risk increase was enough to support nutrition guidance around the glycemic impact of diet and used the following criteria: a relative risk above 1.2 with a 95% confidence limit and more than 1.10 across typical intakes (10th-90th percentiles of population intakes).

Results were as follows: the combined type 2 diabetes-GI relative risk was 1.27 per 10 units GI and type 2 diabetes-GL relative risk was 1.26 per 80g/d in a 2000kcal (8400kJ) diet. The global dose response measurement was 1.87 from 47.6-76.1 units GI; and 1.89 from 73-257g/d GL.

The authors concluded that among healthy adults, a high GI or GL was strongly associated with incident type 2 diabetes, and these dietary factors should be considered in public health nutrition advice for people of European and East Asian ancestry worldwide.

Citation: Livesey G, Taylor R, Livesey HF, Buyken AE et.al. Dietary Glycemic Index and Load and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Updated Meta-Analyses of Prospective Cohort Studies. Nutrients 201911(6), 1280; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11061280 (free full text)