Replacing sugar with palatinose increases muscle mass and reduces body fat
If you remove sugars from your diet and replace them with palatinose, your body composition will improve. This is reported by British researcher Helen Lightowler, affiliated with Oxford Brookes University, in Nutrients. We tell you right away that her study was funded by the ingredient manufacturer Beneo, [beneo.com] a producer of palatinose.
Palatinose is officially called isomaltulose. The chemical structure of palatinose is similar to that of table sugar or sucrose. Just like sucrose, palatinose consists of a glucose and a fructose unit.
However, the difference between the two substances is that the fructose and glucose units in palatinose are attached to each other in a slightly different way, making it harder for enzymes in the body to pull the two units apart and to convert them into energy.
Due to this deviant structure, palatinose has a glycemic index of 32. That is less than the 76 of sucrose and the 100 of glucose. And that is why the energy in palatinose is released more slowly than the energy in sucrose. The sports food industry therefore puts palatinose in pre- and intra-workout products for athletes who need a lot of energy over a longer period of time.
The palatinose that you can buy as a supplement is made by enzymatic conversion of sucrose, but palatinose also occurs in the diet. Palatinose is in honey and in sugar cane.
The researchers got 50 test subjects to eat for 12 weeks in a canteen at the university. In this way the researchers were able to reduce the daily energy intake of the test subjects to 1,700 kilocalories per day.
The researchers divided the test subjects into 2 groups. One group received regular foods with a total of 40 grams of sucrose, the other group of foods in which the sucrose was replaced by 40 grams of palatinose.
Both groups lost body weight. However, the decrease in body weight in the palatinose group was 52 percent greater than the decrease in the sucrose group.
The differences between the 2 groups were even greater when the researchers looked at the fat mass. Both groups lost body fat, but the decrease in body fat in the palatinose group was 110 percent greater than in the sucrose group.
During the experiment, the fat-free mass [say: muscle mass] increased significantly in the palatinose group. That was not the case in the other group.
During the experiment, the researchers measured the subjects' respiratory quotient several times. The lower the respiratory quotient is, the fewer carbohydrates you burn, and the more fats. They discovered that the replacement of sucrose with palatinose stimulated the burning of fats and slowed the oxidation of carbohydrates.
"Our data hence suggest that palatinose, a slow-release and low glycemic sugar alternative, might be a useful tool to promote weight loss and thus improve metabolic risk factors", writes Lightowler. "Additional beneficial effects of isomaltulose consumption on the maintenance of weight loss merit further examinations."
Nutrients 2019, 11(10):2367.
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