Allulose, the low-calorie carb that boosts fat burning
In Japan, Matsutani Chemical Industry is already selling allulose: a carbohydrate that resembles fructose, contains almost zero calories and boosts fat burning.
Allulose (also called d-allulose, psicose or d-psicose) is similar to fructose and is found in minute quantities in wheat and rice. It's almost as sweet as sugar, but contains virtually no calories.
Matsutani produces allulose and markets it in Japan as Rare Sugar Sweet syrup. The company is pinning its hopes on diet food manufacturers becoming interested in allulose, so it's investing in research on the health effects of the stuff. As a result of studies, the American FDA declared allulose 'safe' in 2016.
The researchers gave 13 healthy participants a meal on two different occasions, and four hours after the meal they measured the amount of carbs and fats the participants had burned. On one occasion the participants drank a glass of a soft drink containing a small amount of aspartame and on the other occasion a soft drink containing 5 g allulose.
After the meal that was preceded by allulose, the participants burned slightly fewer carbs and slightly more fat than after the meal preceded by the aspartame soft drink.
"With regard to the mechanisms of d-allulose's antiobese action, intestinal events may be suggested," the researchers wrote. "d-Allulose is known to have an inhibitory action of alpha-glucosidase, which breaks down sucrose into glucose in the small intestine."
To start talking about 'an anti-obese effect' on the basis of this one study is perhaps overly optimistic, you might think. But when the researchers wrote up the results of their study they already knew about the findings of another human study, in which participants did indeed lose some fat mass after consuming 30 g Rare Sugar Sweet every day for three months.
We lifted the figure below from the Matsutani website. [matsutani.co.jp]
"At a low dose, d-allulose enhanced postprandial fat oxidation and decreased carbohydrate oxidation in healthy humans," the researchers summarised. "This indicates that d-allulose has the potential to be an antiobese sweetener in humans."
"Further studies in humans are needed to confirm these effects using a large number of individuals with various diseases such as diabetes and obesity and feeding d-allulose over a long-term period."
Nutrition 43-44 (2017) 16-20.
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