Review publication highlights physiological benefits

The science review of Maresch and colleagues highlights advantages of isomaltulose for blood sugar management and fat burning. And it illustrates how people can benefit from “low GI” in the dietary management of diabetes, for sports and cognitive performance, in weight management, and during pregnancy. Read the full publication here.

Modern eating habits are often linked with the intake of highly refined carbohydrate, those that enter the blood quickly. Recommendations from health experts to follow ‘low GI diets’ instead are heard more and more. Low GI diets can help diabetic people in their dietetic management of blood sugar levels. And growing research also proposes advantages for sports and cognitive performance, in weight management, or during pregnancy. German researchers from the Universities of Giessen and Hohenheim reviewed research with low GI diets, including several studies with isomaltulose:

Diabetes mellitus: People with type 2 diabetes mellitus can reduce blood sugar levels and improve glycaemic control with the help of low GI diets. For instance, a common long-term parameter of glycaemic control called ‘glycaeted hemoglobin 1Ac’ can reduce by 0.1 % to 0.5% with low GI diets. Isomaltulose can contribute to a low GI diet: Studies have shown that consuming drinks with isomaltulose (GI:32) instead of sucrose (GI: 65) or maltodextrin (GI: 80 to 100) can lower the blood glucose and insulin response by 20% to 50%. Moreover, when people with diabetes consumed isomaltulose instead of sucrose, less glucose appeared in their blood circulation, due to an improved glucose flux and a higher glucose uptake by liver tissue. [Read more]

Sports nutrition: Athletes and sports people use carbohydrate drinks to fuel their bodies for longer endurance. Steady and sustained energy supply with isomaltulose comes as a benefit. It allows for a higher contribution of fat burning in the energy mentalism. Athletes know this as a training effect, and for its potential to spare limited carbohydrate sources for longer endurance. [Read more]

Researchers from Swansea University looked for ways to engage people with diabetes in physical activity. They observed that using isomaltulose instead of dextrose helped people with type 1 diabetes mellitus to stabilize blood sugar levels during and after exercise. [Read more]

Cognitive performance: Low GI properties of carbohydrates can influence cognitive performance and mood. This was also observed with isomaltulose in children and in older adults with good glucose tolerance: Taking the breakfast with lower GI and GL thanks to the use of isomaltulose instead of glucose improved cognitive performance later in the morning. Significant effects were found for episodic and working memory or speed of attention. Also mood improved. Read more for children here and for seniors here.

Body weight management: A low GI diet can support weight management goals. Keeping insulin levels low is a key element in this, which becomes evident from the role of insulin as storage hormone. In a positive energy balance, insulin can promote greater fat storage. Loosing those extra kilos is often more difficult. After weight loss has been achieved, a low GI diet can help maintain that body weight.

Also findings from a recently published isomaltulose study underline that weight loss strategies should look beyond calorie counting: People achieved an even greater weight loss and body fat reduction when  sucrose was replaced for isomaltulose in their meals. Meals with isomaltulose where shown to promote fat burning. [Read more]

Pregnancy outcome: Following a low GI diet during pregnancy has shown benefits for both the mother and her child. Among a long list of observations, aspects like a lower gestational weight gain and birth weight, or reduced proportion of babies born large for gestational age have been reported. [Read more].



Maresch CC, Petry SF, Theis S, Bosy-Westphal A, Linn T  (2017) Low glycemic index prototype isomaltulose – update of clinical trials. Nutrients 9(4). pii: E381-393. doi: 10.3390/nu9040381.

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