Carbohidratos: una mirada nutricional. Estrategias para su incorporación en la dieta saludable

Isomaltulose, nutritional and metabolic effects

Christiaan Kalk

BENEO Institute, Bélgica

The aim of this presentation is to introduce isomaltulose, a sugar-type carbohydrate, and its uniquenutritional and metabolic benefits. Isomaltulose is a disaccharide produced from sugar (sucrose) by enzymatic conversion of the a 1-2 linkage to an a 1-6 bond. It is a natural constituent of honey. Because of the a 1-6 bond between the glucose and fructose units, it has physiological benefits that are unusual for a disaccharide carbohydrate. Isomaltulose is a fully, yet slowly digestible carbohydrate with low glycaemic properties.As a result of its slow hydrolysis in the small intestine, isomaltulose provides the energy from a carbohydrate (4 kcal/g) in a more balanced way and over a longer period of time. Its low effect on blood glucose (GI: 32) and insulin levels are beneficial in metabolic control and allow a higher a contribution of fat oxidation to energy metabolism. Apart from that, isomaltulose (Palatinose™) is the first sugar that is kind to teeth.Emerging science further demonstrates the nutritional and metabolic benefits of the slow release properties of isomaltulose. Data will be presented on how isomaltulose influences the levels of incretins, hormones that are involved in blood sugar management and in body fat regulation. Furthermore, recent studies will be discussed that demonstrate the beneficial effects of isomaltulose on mood and (cognitive) performance. Staying healthy is not just a matter of counting calories, or even of cutting carbohydrates. Most calories in our diet should come from carbohydrates. Rather, it is the quality of the carbohydrates that counts. Readily available (high-glycaemic) carbohydrates are abundant in many of today´s prepared foods. These´fast´ carbohydrates should be replaced, at least in part, by higher quality ´slow´ carbohydrates that are taken up by the body slowly and steadily, thereby providing energy for longer and producing a more beneficial metabolic profile. Reducing glycaemia is beneficial to health and - on the long run - helps in the prevention and management of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Isomaltulose shows that such physiological benefits can be achieved with a sugar-type carbohydrate. Thus, in conclusion: isomaltulose offers a unique opportunity to deliver what consumers really need for health and well-being. It facilitates healthier food choices without compromising on taste or convenience. References. Ang M, Linn T. Am J Clin Nutr (2014) 100: 4 1059-1068. Livesey G et al. 2013, Am J Clin Nutr (2013) 97:584-96. Maeda A et al 2013, J Diabetes Investig (2013) 4:3 281-286. Young H and Benton D 2014, Eur J Nutr 2014 doi 10.1007/s00394-014-0779-8.