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October 6, 1978

Bioactivity of Instant Glucose: Failure of Absorption Through Oral Mucosa

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Departments of Internal Medicine (Drs Gunning and Garber) and Cell Biology (Dr Garber), Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. Dr Gunning is now in private practice.

JAMA. 1978;240(15):1611-1612. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290150057025

The efficacy of instant glucose as a potential treatment for hypoglycemia was studied in normal volunteers, with therapeutic doses administered in the buccal cavity. 2-Tritiated glucose (50 μCi) was homogenized into each dose before use. Mean blood glucose and serum insulin concentrations were unaltered by instant glucose. Glucose absorption was less than 0.05 mg at any time, and total glucose absorbed was less than 0.1 mg. For comparison purposes, volunteers swallowed a dose of instant glucose. Approximately 88% of the dose was absorbed during a 30-minute interval. Blood glucose and insulin levels increased. Instant glucose appears to be of therapeutic value only if swallowed by fully conscious, hypoglycemic patients. It should not benefit unconscious patients because of its poor absorption through the buccal mucosa.

(JAMA 240:1611-1612, 1978)