Weight Loss Dieters

For individuals watching their weight, calorie-counting is a common practice to achieve their objectives. While calorie intake does have an important role in weight loss, there are additional factors involved. In addition to elements such as satiety and energy density, there is also the potential to steer the metabolism towards the fat-burning process.

Research shows that obese individuals who burn fat more slowly tend to continue gradually gaining weight. (Zurlo et al. 1990) Therefore, impaired fat oxidation appears to be an important contributor to long-term weight gain, and increasing fat oxidation can benefit weight management and body composition. For weight loss dieters, isomaltulose serves as a great option as it helps steer the metabolism towards the fat-burning process and further supports the progression of weight loss.

Isomaltulose promotes fat burning in overweight and obese conditions

Several studies looked at effects on fat burning and related metabolic responses when overweight and obese adults consumed isomaltulose instead of sugars with their meals (or drinks).

König et al (2012) compared the effects of isomaltulose to a high-glycemic reference on metabolic regulation and fat oxidation in overweight to obese adults with impaired glucose tolerance, at risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. The participants consumed foods and drinks sweetened with isomaltulose or with a sucrose/glucose syrup blend for breakfast and lunch. A moderate exercise period was included 2 hours after breakfast to investigate the effects both at rest and during physical activity.  The isomaltulose-containing breakfast was followed by a significantly lower blood glucose response and a lower insulin release, in comparison to the breakfast containing high-glycemic sugars. Additionally, significantly higher fat burning was observed with isomaltulose at both rest and during physical activity.

Overall, fat utilisation with isomatulose was about 18% higher over the 7-h observation period, which was equivalent to the burning of 8g more fat or 72 fat calories. Also a trend for an overall greater energy expenditure (about 50 kcal in total) was observed, which was attributed to the increased burning of fat with isomaltulose. This study confirms the benefits of replacing high-glycemic carbohydrates with isomaltulose in a meal-type approach on blood glucose and insulin responses, metabolic regulation, and fat oxidation.

Also van Can and co-workers observed a lower rise in blood glucose concentrations, less insulin release, less inhibition of fat mobilization, and a higher level of fat burning when isomaltulose was consumed in place of sucrose in their studies with healthy overweight adults (van Can et al 2009) or those with impaired glucose tolerance (Van Can et al 2012).

Improving body composition and body weight

Over time, steering the metabolism towards fat burning can further support body weight and body composition goals, with less inhibitory effects on fat mobilization from fat tissue and on fat utilization in muscles. Moreover, while greater fat storage in the liver has been associated with the development of insulin resistance, promoting fat burning rather than fat storage in the liver with isomaltulose can further support metabolic health beyond body weight management as such.

Additionally, findings from animal and human intervention studies link isomaltulose to such long-term effects on body fat accumulation, energy expenditure and body weight.

Improvements in body composition and body fat were observed in feeding studies in rats and mice, where a lower adipose fat accumulation was obtained with isomaltulose or isomaltulose-containing diets instead of higher glycaemic carbohydrates at equal caloric intake (Arai et al 2004, Fujiwara et al 2007, Sato et al 2007). Also human studies of 12 to 16 weeks duration observed long-term effects of isomaltulose on belly fat accumulation in obese adults and those with impaired glucose tolerance, i.e. abdominal fat decreased with isomaltulose when replacing sugars (Yamori et al 2007, Okuno et al 2010) or breakfast calories (Oizumi et al 2007).

Relevance of the carbohydrate choice for weight loss has been demonstrated by Henry et al. In their 12-week weight loss study, overweight to obese men who successfully lost weight from a negative energy balance were able to achieve even greater fat and weight loss after replacing sucrose with isomaltulose. This suggests that making the small diet change of substituting isomaltulose for sucrose may improve loss of both weight and body fat in a calorie-restricted diet.


Arai H, Mizuno A, Matsuo K, Fukaya M, Sasaki H, Arima H, Matsuura M, Taketani Y, Doi T, Takeda E (2004) Effect of a novel palatinose-based liquid balanced formula (MHN-01) on glucose and lipid metabolism in male Sprague-Dawley rats after short- and long-term ingestion. Metabolism 53(8):977–983. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15281004

Fujiwara T, Naomoto Y, Motoki T, Shigemitsu K, Shirakawa Y, Yamatsuji T, Kataoka M, Haisa M, Egi M, Morimatsu H, Hanazaki M, Katayama H, Morita K, Mizumoto K, Asou T, Arima H, Sasaki H, Matsuura M, Gunduz M, Tanaka N (2007) Effects of a novel palatinose based enteral formula (MHN-01) carbohydrate-adjusted fluid diet in improving the metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids in patients with esophageal cancer complicated by diabetes mellitus. J Surg Res 138(2):231–240. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17254607

König D, Theis S, Kozianowski G, Berg A (2012) Postprandial substrate use in overweight subjects with the metabolic syndrome after isomaltulose (Palatinose™) ingestion. Nutrition 28(6):651–656. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22264450

Oizumi T, Daimon M, Jimbu Y, Kameda W, Arawaka N, Yamaguchi H, Ohnuma H, Sasaki H, Kato T (2007) A palatinose-based balanced formula improves glucose tolerance, serum free fatty acid levels and body fat composition. Tohoku J Exp Med 212(2):91–99. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17548953

Okuno M, Kim MK, Mizu M, Mori M, Mori H, Yamori Y (2010) Palatinose-blended sugar compared with sucrose: different effects on insulin sensitivity after 12 weeks supplementation in sedentary adults. Int J Food Sci Nutr 61(6):643–651. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20367218

Sato K, Arai H, Mizuno A, Fukaya M, Sato T, Koganei M, Sasaki H, Yamamoto H, Taketani Y, Doi T, Takeda E (2007) Dietary Palatinose and Oleic Acid Ameliorate Disorders of Glucose and Lipid Metabolism in Zucker Fatty Rats. J Nutr 137(8):1908–1915. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17634263

van Can JG, van Loon LJ, Brouns F, Blaak EE (2012) Reduced glycaemic and insulinaemic responses following trehalose and isomaltulose ingestion: implications for postprandial substrate use in impaired glucose-tolerant subjects. Br J Nutr 108(7):1210–1217. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22172468

van Can, Judith G P, Ijzerman TH, van Loon, Luc J C, Brouns F, Blaak EE (2009) Reduced glycaemic and insulinaemic responses following isomaltulose ingestion: implications for postprandial substrate use. Br J Nutr 102(10):1408–1413. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19671200

Yamori Y, Mori H, Mori M, Kashimura J, Sakamua T, Ishikawa PM, Moriguchi E, Moriguchi Y (2007) Japanese perspective on reduction in lifestyle disease risk in immigrant japanese brazilians: a double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention study on palatinose. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 34(S5-S7). http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1440-1681.2007.04759.x/abstract

Zurlo F, Lillioja S, Esposito-Del Puente A, Nyomba BL, Raz I, Saad MF, Swinburn BA, Knowler WC, Bogardus C, Ravussin E (1990) Low ratio of fat to carbohydrate oxidation as predictor of weight gain: study of 24-h RQ. Am J Physiol 259 (5 Pt 1) E650-7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2240203