Palatinose is also known as isomaltulose, and may be listed as 6-0-a-D-glucopyranosyl-D-fructose. Palatinose is a disaccharide composed of alpha-1,6-linked glucose and fructose that is naturally occurring in honey and sugar cane. For use in dietary supplements and food products palatinose may be extracted from sugar cane or manufactured by the bacterial fermentaion of sucrose (table sugar, composed of glucose and fructose).
Palatinose is listed as a sugar on food and supplement labels, but it is absorbed much more slowly than sucrose and other sugars. The slow digesting nature of palatinose may be because it is hydrolyzed slowly in the small intestine. This may cause gastrointestinal upset in some users, but anecdotally this only appears to be an issue in people using large amounts. Because palatinose does not cause a rapid rise and fall in blood sugar as other sugars do yet still tastes sweet, it has been used as a sugar substitute for diabetics. Palatinose may be included in some weight gainers, meal replacements, and carbohydrate powders as a low glycemic index liquid carbohydrate source. Palatinose also may be useful for people who consume a pre-workout shake. Using Palatinose as a carbohydrate source in this shake should provide sustained energy levels during training.
Sadly, palatinose is not used very often as a carbohydrate source in meal replacements or weight gainers. This is perhaps due to the fact that it shows up as sugar on the nutrition label, or because other carbohydrate sources like maltodextrin are cheaper to use. Palatinose does not do anything spectacular other than supply carbohydrates, but it is still useful as a sweetener and as a source of slow digesting carbohydrates.
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6. Kawai K, Okuda Y, & Yamashita K. (1985). Changes in blood glucose and insulin after an oral palatinose administration in normal subjects. Endocrinologia Japonica. 32(6), 933-6.
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