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Publication in "Nutrients": It all depends on the time of day: Carbohydrates that are plentiful in the evening, which raise blood sugar levels, are unfavorable to health in the long term

A new publication in the international magazine "Nutrients" shows: Adolescents who regularly consume more carbohydrates with a high glycemic index in the evening have higher risk markers for type 2 diabetes in young adulthood. A study by the University of Bonn, at which Prof. Dr. Anette Buyken from the Institute for Nutrition, Consumption and Health at the University of Paderborn is involved as an initiator.

“The levels of many hormones are subject to a 24-hour rhythm that is controlled by the human“ internal clock ”. For example, we are less insulin sensitive in the evening. H. our metabolic response to our food - especially carbohydrates - is less in the evening than in the morning, ”explains Buyken. During puberty, there is also a naturally reduced insulin sensitivity. Studies in adults show that regular consumption of carbohydrates that cause blood sugar to rise sharply - that is, carbohydrates that have a high "glycemic index" (GI) - promote the development of type 2 diabetes. For this reason, the DONALD study (Dortmund Nutritional and Anthropometric Longitudinally Designed Study) investigated in adolescents whether a higher consumption of carbohydrates with a higher GI in the long term is unfavorable for later type 2 diabetes risk markers.

The study included 252 DONALD volunteers who had repeatedly followed a 3-day cradle-feeding protocol during puberty and were re-examined in young adulthood. Analysis of the data showed that adolescents who regularly consumed large amounts of carbohydrates with a higher GI in the evening between the ages of 9 and 16 were more insulin-resistant in young adults (average age: 21 years) and had a higher fatty liver index (the higher the index, the more likely if fatty liver is present) than those who consumed moderate amounts of carbohydrates with a higher GI in the evening.

"It is interesting that both connections show up for the evening, but not for the morning consumption," says first author Tanja Diederichs. “For long-term diabetes prevention, it is therefore probably crucial to avoid large carbohydrate portions with a higher GI in the evening. That means avoiding foods such as white bread, instant mashed potatoes or sticky white rice, ”adds initiator Prof. Dr. Anette Buyken, who has been a professor at the University of Paderborn since April 2017.

Publication: Diederichs T, Herder C, Roßbach S, Roden M, Wudy SA, Nöthlings U, Alexy U, Buyken AE (2017). Carbohydrates from Sources with a Higher Glycemic Index during Adolescence: Is Evening Rather than Morning Intake Relevant for Risk Markers Of Type 2 Diabetes in Young Adulthood? Nutrients, DOI: 10.3390 / nu9060591