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New study defines physiological benefits of
BENEO’s Palatinose™ slow release carbohydrate

March 2010 - Thanks to new research from Holub et al, recently appeared in the British Journal of Nutrition’s online version¹, 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 been 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 Wuerzburg, 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 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 3-hour blood glucose response test was done in 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, demonstrate 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 Wuerzburg, in which adults with raised blood lipids consumed 50 g 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 (50 g 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, i.e. 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 regulatory affairs and nutrition communication for BENEO, comments: “Holub et al’s findings only support still 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.”
BENEO’s Palatinose™
BENEO’s Palatinose™ is a disaccharide carbohydrate derived from sugar (sucrose). It differs from sugar in its linkage between the glucose and the fructose units (a-1,6 instead of a-1,2 glucosidic in sucrose). Earlier enzyme kinetic studies have shown that the linkage in Palatinose™ is much more slowly digested by the enzymes of the small intestine than the linkage in readily available sugars like sucrose or maltose. Palatinose™ is a toothfriendly carbohydrate and, as a result of its complete yet slow intestinal release, it provides the full carbohydrate energy (4 kcal/g) in a more balanced way over a longer period of time.
1 Reference: Holub I, Gostner A, Theis S, Nosek L, Kudlich T, Melcher R, Scheppach W: Novel findings on the metabolic effects of the low glycaemic carbohydrate isomaltulose (Palatinose™). British Journal of Nutrition 2010. First view articles, published online by Cambridge University Press 09 March 2010.

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