1,5-Anhydroglucitol (1,5-AG), Intermediate Glycemic Control

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The 1,5-Anhydroglucitol (1,5-AG), Intermediate Glycemic Control test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

1,5-Anhydroglucitol (1,5-AG) Test: A Deep Dive into Intermediate Glycemic Control

Diabetes management is a delicate balancing act. Regular monitoring of blood glucose levels is crucial, and while the A1C test is a gold standard for assessing long-term glycemic control, there are situations where a more intermediate perspective is required. Enter the 1,5-Anhydroglucitol (1,5-AG) test, which offers a unique window into glycemic fluctuations. Let's dive into its significance and workings.

What is the 1,5-Anhydroglucitol (1,5-AG) Test?

1,5-Anhydroglucitol is a naturally occurring monosaccharide found in various foods, including soy sauce, sake, and malted beverages. In individuals without diabetes or those with well-controlled diabetes, 1,5-AG levels in the blood remain relatively stable. However, during episodes of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), glucose starts to spill over into the urine, and as it does, it also pulls 1,5-AG with it. As a result, the blood levels of 1,5-AG drop.

The 1,5-AG test, therefore, measures the blood levels of 1,5-AG to provide insights into short-term glycemic excursions over the previous 1-2 weeks.

Why is it Important?

  1. Short-term Glycemic Control: The 1,5-AG test offers insights into glucose fluctuations over a period of 1-2 weeks, making it a valuable tool for detecting recent hyperglycemic events. This is particularly beneficial for pregnant women with diabetes, where short-term glucose control is crucial for fetal health.

  2. Complementary to A1C: While the A1C test measures average blood glucose levels over 2-3 months, the 1,5-AG test can detect recent hyperglycemia even if A1C values are within the target range. This is useful for individuals who have frequent glucose fluctuations within a short time frame.

  3. No Influence from Anemia or Hemoglobinopathies: Unlike the A1C test, 1,5-AG is not affected by conditions like anemia or variations in hemoglobin, making it a more accurate tool for some individuals.

When to Use the 1,5-AG Test?

  1. Detecting Postprandial Hyperglycemia: The test is adept at identifying post-meal glucose spikes that might be missed by routine glucose monitoring.

  2. Pregnancy: As mentioned earlier, it's essential for pregnant women with diabetes to maintain tight glucose control to ensure fetal health. The 1,5-AG test helps monitor short-term glycemic control in such situations.

  3. Assessing New Diabetes Therapies: For individuals who have recently started or changed diabetes therapies, the 1,5-AG test can provide insights into their effectiveness in the short term.


While the 1,5-AG test is a valuable tool, it does have limitations. It's sensitive to renal function, meaning that individuals with kidney dysfunction might not get accurate results. It's also less sensitive in detecting hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) episodes.


The 1,5-Anhydroglucitol (1,5-AG) test offers a unique perspective on intermediate glycemic control, complementing other tests like A1C. While not a replacement for regular blood glucose monitoring or the A1C test, it provides valuable information in specific situations, helping individuals with diabetes and their healthcare providers get a more comprehensive picture of their glycemic status. As with all medical tests, it's crucial to consult with healthcare professionals to understand what the results mean and how best to act on them.

Reference Range(s)

Age Male
≤1 year Not established Not established
2-17 years 15.0-38.0 11.2-35.7
≥18 years 7.3-36.6 7.5-28.4

Serum 1,5-anhydroglucitol (1,5 AG): new clinical marker for glycemic control

Reference at www.pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7859616

We review the use of 1,5-anhydroglucitol (1,5 AG) in diagnosing and monitoring patients with diabetes. This six-carbon chain monosaccharide is one of the major polyols present in humans. Its concentration in serum is normally about 12 to 40 micrograms/ml. This substance is derived mainly from food, is well absorbed in the intestine, and is distributed to all organs and tissues. It is metabolically stable, being excreted in the urine when its level exceeds the renal threshold. It is reabsorbed in the renal tubules, and is competitively inhibited by glucosuria, which leads to a reduction in its level in serum. The correlation between this reduction and the amount of glucose present in urine is so close that 1,5 AG can be used as a sensitive, day-to-day, real-time marker of glycemic control. It provides useful information on current glycemic control and is superior to both HbA1c and fructosamine in detecting near-normoglycemia.

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