Close this search box.

How insulin responds to macronutrients and its implications for personalized nutrition


A recent study published in Cell Metabolism reveals intriguing variations in how different macronutrients — carbohydrates, proteins, and fats — affect insulin secretion. This research, conducted on pancreatic islets from deceased human donors, could pave the way for more personalized dietary strategies to manage blood sugar levels.

Key findings from the study

  • Carbohydrates are known to trigger significant insulin responses, but the study found notable variations with proteins and fats.
  • Some pancreatic islets showed a stronger insulin response to proteins or fats compared to carbohydrates.
  • The study involved pancreatic islets from 140 deceased donors, exposing them to various macronutrients and observing insulin secretion.

Implications for personalized nutrition

The findings suggest that individual responses to macronutrients can vary significantly, which may influence future nutritional guidelines and diabetes management. While carbohydrates generally lead to higher insulin secretion, the individualized responses observed suggest that a one-size-fits-all approach to dietary recommendations might not be effective for everyone.

Expert insights

Experts not involved in the study, such as Dr. Jason Fung and Dr. Thomas M. Holland, highlight the potential of these findings to inform more tailored dietary interventions. They note that while the study offers valuable insights, translating these findings to practical dietary advice for living humans requires further research.

Future directions

The research team hopes to inspire further clinical studies that could confirm these findings and help develop personalized dietary recommendations based on individual insulin responses to different macronutrients.

As we await more definitive research, health care providers encourage following current dietary guidelines while being open to adjustments based on individual health needs and responses.