D-Allulose Sweetener May Aid in Weight Loss, Study Suggests

Nov 7, 2017

A new study conducted by Matsutani Chemical Industry and researchers at Japan’s Nagasaki University found that the rare sugar d-allulose (also known as d-psicose) may help users manage weight by enhancing post-meal fat oxidation and decreasing carbohydrate oxidation.

With excess sugar’s role in rising obesity rates a source of concern, product developers and sweetener suppliers alike are searching for safe, noncaloric sweeteners that make meaningful sugar reductions possible. d-Allulose, a fructose isomer with 70 percent sucrose’s sweetness, is one such sweetener, and it’s appeared as a noncaloric, GRAS-status sugar substitute in a number of product formulations already. While animal studies have shown d-allulose to decrease body weight, adipose tissue weight and sugar absorption via enzymatic means, no studies had yet been conducted to determine if or how d-allulose modifies energy metabolism in humans.

In the study,1 published recently in the journal Nutrition, researchers investigated the effects of a single ingestion of d-allulose on postprandial energy metabolism in 13 healthy individuals. Using a randomized, single-blind crossover design with a one-week washout period, the researchers had the subjects consume an aqueous solution of either 5 g of d-allulose or 10 mg of an aspartame control following an overnight fast. Thirty minutes after consuming the solution, subjects ate a standardized breakfast and then underwent blood sampling for relevant biomarkers and energy-metabolism evaluation using a breath-by-breath method.

Results showed that subjects in the d-allulose group oxidized more fat for energy than did the control subjects, whereas control subjects oxidized more carbohydrate. Plasma glucose levels were also significantly lower, and free fatty acid levels significantly higher, in the d-allulose group—indicating boosted fat metabolism. (Insulin, total cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels remained unmodified.)

Thus, the study’s authors conclude that at a low dose, d-allulose enhanced postprandial fat oxidation and decreased carbohydrate oxidation in healthy humans, suggesting a role for the rare sugar as a novel sweetener effective at controlling and maintaining healthy body weight, possibly through its enhancing effect on energy metabolism.

References: 
  1. Kimura T et al. “d-Allulose enhances postprandial fat oxidation in healthy humans.” Nutrition, vol. 43-44 (2017): 16-20