UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Detection of Salivary Insulin Following Low versus High Carbohydrate Meals in Humans Myette-Côté, Étienne; Baba, Katie; Brar, Raj; Little, Jonathan Peter


Developing non-invasive alternatives to monitor insulin levels in humans holds potential practical value for identifying individuals with, or at risk of developing, insulin resistance. The aims of this study were: (1) to determine if saliva insulin can be used to delineate between low and high postprandial insulin levels following the ingestion of mixed breakfast meals; and (2) to determine if expected differences in postprandial hyperinsulinemia between young lean and young overweight/obese participants could be detected in saliva. Sixteen individuals (n = 8 classified as normal weight (NW); BMI 20.0–24.9 kg/m², and n = 8 classified as overweight/obese (OO); BMI ≥ 28.0 kg/m²) completed two isocaloric mixed-meal tolerance tests following an overnight fast, consisting of a low-carbohydrate (LC) breakfast or a high-carbohydrate (HC) breakfast. Blood and saliva samples were collected at regular intervals for two hours postprandially. In both groups, plasma and saliva insulin total area under the curve (AUC) and incremental AUC (iAUC) were significantly higher after the HC as compared to the LC meal (all p ≤ 0.005). Insulin AUC and iAUC in both plasma and saliva were higher in OO than in NW after the HC meal (all p ≤ 0.02) but only plasma and saliva total AUC were higher in OO after the LC meal (both p ≤ 0.01). Plasma insulin AUC was significantly correlated with salivary insulin AUC in LC (r = 0.821; p < 0.001) and HC (r = 0.882; p < 0.001). These findings indicate that saliva could potentially be used to delineate between low and high insulin levels following mixed breakfast meals.

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