British Journal of Nutrition

  • British Journal of Nutrition / Volume 103 / Issue 12 / June 2010, pp 1730-1737
  • Copyright © The Authors 2010. The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence <>. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.
  • DOI: (About DOI), Published online: 09 March 2010
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British Journal of Nutrition (2010), 103:1730-1737 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © The Authors 2010

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Metabolism and Metabolic Studies

Novel findings on the metabolic effects of the low glycaemic carbohydrate isomaltulose (Palatinose™)

Ines Holuba1 c1, Andrea Gostnera1, Stephan Theisa2, Leszek Noseka3, Theodor Kudlicha1, Ralph Melchera1 and W. Scheppacha4

a1 Department of Medicine II, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Würzburg, Versbacher Strasse 5, D-97080 Würzburg, Germany
a2 Suedzucker AG and BENEO, Wormser Strasse 11, D-67283 Obrigheim/Pfalz, Germany
a3 Profil Institut für Stoffwechselforschung GmbH, Hellersbergstrasse 9, D-41460 Neuss, Germany
a4 Juliusspital Würzburg, Department of Medicine, Juliuspromenade 19, D-97070 Würzburg, Germany
Article author query
holub i [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
gostner a [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
theis s [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
nosek l [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
kudlich t [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
melcher r [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
scheppach w [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


The slow digestible disaccharide isomaltulose (iso; Palatinose™) is available as novel functional carbohydrate ingredient for manufacturing of low glycaemic foods and beverages. Although basically characterised, various information on physiological effects of iso are still lacking. Thus, the objective of the present study was to expand scientific knowledge of physiological characteristics of iso by a set of three human intervention trials. Using an ileostomy model, iso was found to be essentially absorbed, irrespective of the nature of food (beverage and solid food). Apparent digestibility of 50 g iso from two different meals was 95·5 and 98·8 %; apparent absorption was 93·6 and 96·1 %, respectively. In healthy volunteers, a single dose intake of iso resulted in lower postprandial blood glucose and insulin responses than did sucrose (suc), while showing prolonged blood glucose delivery over 3 h test. In a 4-week trial with hyperlipidaemic individuals, regular consumption of 50 g/d iso within a Western-type diet was well tolerated and did not affect blood lipids. Fasting blood glucose and insulin resistance were lower after the 4-week iso intervention compared with baseline. This would be consistent with possible beneficial metabolic effects as a consequence of the lower and prolonged glycaemic response and lower insulinaemic burden. However, there was no significant difference at 4 weeks after iso compared with suc. In conclusion, the study shows that iso is completely available from the small intestine, irrespective of food matrix, leading to a prolonged delivery of blood glucose. Regular iso consumption is well tolerated also in subjects with increased risk for vascular diseases.

(Received February 25 2009)

(Revised December 14 2009)

(Accepted December 18 2009)

(Online publication March 09 2010)

Key Words:Isomaltulose; Metabolic markers; Ileostoma; Hyperlipidaemia; Low glycaemic foods


c1 Corresponding author: Ines Holub, fax +49 931 201 45887, email


Abbreviations: GI, glycaemic index; GL, glycaemic load; HOMA-IR, homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance; iso, isomaltulose; suc, sucrose