Holub’s new research was based on discovering what physiological properties the slow intestinal release of Palatinose, observed in enzyme kinetic studies, would manifest in the human body. Three separate studies were carried out to investigate:
Palatinose – a completely available carbohydrate
To assess the digestibility of Palatinose, investigations in a human ileostomy study was 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 were effectively complete.
This is the first study on the digestion and absorption of Palatinose in humans and data from earlier in vitro and animal studies has now been confirmed.
The first disaccharide carbohydrate to have low glycaemic 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 blood glucose response, a second study was carried out. A three-hour blood glucose response test was done in healthy adults (at the Profil Institute in Germany). A significantly lower blood glucose and insulin response was observed for Palatinose in comparison to sucrose. Unlike sucrose, Palatinose is a low glycaemic carbohydrate. Moreover, the blood glucose response data, together with the findings from the ileostomy study, demonstrate that Palatinose is 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 glycaemic 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 the physiological effects of daily Palatinose consumption over a long period of time on the human metabolism, in comparison to sucrose. 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, much like those in a 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, carbohydratemetabolism parameters, i.e. fasting blood glucose levels and insulin resistance, were significantly reduced after four weeks of Palatinose consumption, compared to there being no 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 concludes: ‘Holub 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.’
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.