A new study from Stanford University School of Medicine shows that blood sugar levels in people without diabetes fluctuate more than they think.
The researchers used continuous glucose monitoring devices instead of the traditional finger prick method to gather more accurate blood sugar levels.
“There are lots of folks running around with their glucose levels spiking, and they don’t even know it,” says Michael Snyder, Ph.D., senior author of the study in a press release.
Snyder points out this is significant because high sugar levels add to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and to developing insulin resistance, a condition in which the body’s cells don’t respond to the hormone, insulin. Insulin resistance is a precursor to developing diabetes.
The study involved using a continuous glucose-monitoring device on 57 participants. Blood glucose readings were then taken over a period of two weeks. The participants were overall healthy or showing signs of prediabetes. Five of the study participants had type 2 diabetes.
Published in the journal, PLOS Biology, the data revealed three types of intensity for sugar spikes: low, moderate and severe.
To look at what caused the variation in spiking, Snyder and his team conducted a sub-study in which 30 participants using the continuous glucose monitoring device alternated between eating three different types of breakfasts: a bowl of cereal, a peanut butter sandwich and a protein bar.
Interestingly, the sugar spikes correlated with what the individuals ate. After eating the allocated meals, individuals whose prior results indicated they did not have diabetes, exhibited sugar spikes similar to those who were prediabetic or diabetic.
“We saw that 80 percent of our participants spiked after eating a bowl of cornflakes and milk,” Snyder stated in the press release. “Make of that what you will, but my own personal belief is it’s probably not such a great thing for everyone to be eating.”
Snyder indicates that now that they have this information in hand, it’s time to look at why this is happening. A focus on the microorganisms in the body may be the key and that’s where the research may be headed next.