Like sucrose (table sugar), the natural disaccharide isomaltulose (PalatinoseTM) consists of glucose and fructose, but it is apparently more suitable for people with type 2 diabetes with regard to regulating blood glucose levels. This has now been confirmed in a new DZD study carried out by the German Institute of Human Nutrition (DIfE). The study showed for the first time on subjects with type 2 diabetes that the favorable metabolic effect of isomaltulose is due to the almost opposing release profiles of the gut hormones GLP-1 and GIP.
The researchers investigated the effect of 50 g isomaltulose and 50 g sucrose in a crossover study of 10 adults with type 2 diabetes. The mean peak blood glucose concentrations after isomaltulose ingestion were 20 percent lower. Insulin secretion was even 55 percent lower. Isomaltulose in the intestine reduces GIP secretion, increases GLP-1 secretion, and at the same time preserves a certain measure of insulin secretion, thus preventing severe fluctuations in blood glucose levels.
The scientists assume that the different metabolic effects of the two disaccharides, which are composed of one molecule of glucose and fructose, are due to the different chemical bond of the monosaccharides. While the digestive enzymes cleave sucrose quite rapidly into glucose and fructose, this process takes longer with isomaltulose. However, patients should be aware that isomaltulose provides the same number of calories as other types of sugar but it doesn’t taste as sweet.
Keyhani-Nejad F, Kemper M, Schueler R, Pivovarova O, Rudovich N, Pfeiffer AF. Effects of Palatinose and Sucrose Intake on Glucose Metabolism and Incretin Secretion in Subjects With Type 2 Diabetes. doi: 10.2337/dc15-1891. Diabetes Care. December 30, 2015
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