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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


glycemic index  listen  (gly-SEE-mik IN-dex)

  A measure of the increase in the level of blood glucose (a type of sugar) caused by eating a specific carbohydrate (food that contains sugar) compared with eating a standard amount of glucose. Foods with a high glycemic index release glucose quickly and cause a rapid rise in blood glucose. Foods with a low glycemic index release glucose slowly into the blood. A relationship between the glycemic index and recurrent colorectal cancer is being studied.