Glucose Naturally Labeled with Carbon-13: Use for Metabolic Studies in Man

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Science  03 Aug 1973:
Vol. 181, Issue 4098, pp. 445-446
DOI: 10.1126/science.181.4098.445


The ratio of carbon-13 to carbon-12 is much higher in most commerical preparations of glucose used for oral glucose tolerance tests than it is in carbon dioxide in expired air. This recent discovery provided a novel and potentially significant means of studying glucose metabolism. The changes in the ratio of carbon-13 to carbon-12 in carbon dioxide expired after oral glucose administration were determined by mass spectrometry. In six healthy male volunteers, the administration of glucose resulted in a marked, reproducible rise in the isotopic ratio in expired carbon dioxide; the ratio reached its maximum at 4 hours and then declined progressively.