Effect of Eucaloric High- and Low-Sucrose Diets With Identical Macronutrient Profile on Insulin Resistance and Vascular Risk

A Randomized Controlled Trial

  1. R. Neil A. Black1,
  2. Michelle Spence2,
  3. Ross O. McMahon1,
  4. Geraldine J. Cuskelly2,
  5. Cieran N. Ennis1,
  6. David R. McCance1,
  7. Ian S. Young2,
  8. Patrick M. Bell1 and
  9. Steven J. Hunter1
  1. 1Regional Centre for Endocrinology and Diabetes, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, U.K
  2. 2Nutrition and Metabolism Group, The Queen’s University of Belfast, Belfast, U.K
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Steven J. Hunter, Regional Centre for Endocrinology and Diabetes, Royal Victoria Hospital, Grosvenor Road, Belfast, U.K., BT12 6BA. E-mail: steven.hunter{at}


The long-term impact of dietary carbohydrate type, in particular sucrose, on insulin resistance and the development of diabetes and atherosclerosis is not established. Current guidelines for the healthy population advise restriction of sucrose intake. We investigated the effect of high- versus low-sucrose diet (25 vs. 10%, respectively, of total energy intake) in 13 healthy subjects aged 33 ± 3 years (mean ± SE), BMI 26.6 ± 0.9 kg/m2, in a randomized crossover design with sequential 6-week dietary interventions separated by a 4-week washout. Weight maintenance, eucaloric diets with identical macronutrient profiles and fiber content were designed. All food was weighed and distributed. Insulin action was assessed using a two-step euglycemic clamp; glycemic profiles were assessed by the continuous glucose monitoring system and vascular compliance by pulse-wave analysis. There was no change in weight across the study. Peripheral glucose uptake and suppression of endogenous glucose production were similar after each diet. Glycemic profiles and measures of vascular compliance did not change. A rise in total and LDL cholesterol was observed. In this study, a high-sucrose intake as part of an eucaloric, weight-maintaining diet had no detrimental effect on insulin sensitivity, glycemic profiles, or measures of vascular compliance in healthy nondiabetic subjects.


  • R.N.A.B. and M.S. contributed equally to this work.

  • The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. This article must therefore be hereby marked “advertisement” in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.

    • Accepted August 23, 2006.
    • Received February 15, 2006.
| Table of Contents