Thanks to new research from Holub et al, which recently appeared in the British Journal of Nutrition‘s online version, BENEO’s Palatinose™ (isomaltulose) disaccharide carbohydrate has been shown to offer distinct physiological benefits, following a detailed series of human studies.

Holub et al’s research was based around discovering what physiological properties the slow intestinal release of Palatinose, observed in enzyme kinetic studies, would manifest in the human body. With this in mind, three separate studies were carried out to investigate the following:

  • Whether Palatinose would be fully digestible and available from foods and drinks in humans
  • Whether the slow release of Palatinose led to complete digestion and absorption and how this would be reflected in its blood glucose response
  • What the acceptance and tolerance of Palatinose-consumption would be over a longer period of time in the human metabolism, in comparison with sucrose

Resounding success

The series of studies by Holub et al have clearly presented the metabolic benefits of Palatinose. Following Holub et al’s work, Palatinose has shown to be a completely available carbohydrate irrespective of its consumption with food or beverages. The slow yet complete intestinal release of Palatinose leads to a prolonged delivery of blood glucose. Regular Palatinose consumption is well tolerated, even in subpopulations with increased risk in cardiovascular disease. The results of Holub et al suggest that Palatinose may even have beneficial effects on long-term carbohydrate metabolism.

Palatinose – a completely available carbohydrate

To assess the digestibility of Palatinose, investigations in a human ileostomy study were carried out at the University of Würzburg, Germany. These confirmed that Palatinose is indeed essentially fully digested and absorbed from the small intestine, irrespective of its consumption with food or beverages. The digestibility and absorption of 50g of Palatinose in two different food applications was essentially complete. This is the first study carried out on the digestion and absorption of Palatinose in humans, and confirms data from earlier in vitro and animal studies that Palatinose is a completely available carbohydrate.

Palatinose – first disaccharide carbohydrate to have low glycemic characteristics and to deliver blood glucose over a longer period of time

To find out whether the slow yet complete digestion and absorption of Palatinose would be reflected in its blood glucose response, a second study was carried out. For this purpose, a three-hour blood glucose response test has been done with healthy adults (at the PROFIL Institute in Neuss, Germany). This showed a significantly lower blood glucose and insulin response for Palatinose in comparison to sucrose and demonstrated that, unlike sucrose, Palatinose is a low glycemic carbohydrate. Moreover, the blood glucose response data, together with the findings from the ileostomy study, demonstrates that Palatinose is very slowly, yet completely digested and absorbed in the small intestine. This leads to a prolonged delivery of blood glucose to the body. Therefore, it can be said that Palatinose is the first disaccharide carbohydrate which has low glycemic characteristics and delivers blood glucose over a longer period of time.

Palatinose – longer term benefits on carbohydrate metabolism

A third study was undertaken to investigate physiological effects of daily Palatinose consumption on the human metabolism (in comparison with sucrose) over a longer period of time. An intervention trial was conducted in a double-blind, controlled design at the University of Würzburg, in which adults with raised blood lipids consumed 50g of Palatinose or sucrose every day. The trial included various foods as part of a controlled typical Western diet over a four-week period. The study demonstrated that regular Palatinose consumption (50g per day) was well tolerated and had no detrimental effects on blood lipids (including cholesterol and LDL cholesterol) or cardiovascular risk markers. Moreover, carbohydrate-metabolism parameters, for example fasting blood glucose levels and insulin resistance, were significantly reduced after four weeks of Palatinose consumption, compared to no such significant differences with sucrose. These findings suggest that Palatinose, taken regularly over longer periods of time, has beneficial effects on carbohydrate metabolism.

Anke Sentko, vice president of regulatory affairs and nutrition communication for BENEO, comments: “Holub et al’s findings only support further the reason why a wide range of food and drink producers are already using Palatinose in their products. From sport and wellness-drinks, sports nutrition products, instant beverages, functional dairy drinks, teas, cereal and energy bars and baked goods to clinical nutrition, the functional carbohydrate Palatinose is having a significant impact.”