Importance of Carbohydrate in Sport
What is Glycogen and Why is It Important in Sport?
Importance of Caffeine in Sport
Importance of Nitrate in Sport
What is Isomaltulose and Importance in Sport

Carbohydrates play an important role in the diet as the key macronutrient that supplies the body with energy. However, not all carbohydrates are metabolized the same way and interest is growing in the characteristics of various carbohydrates – functional properties, digestibility, availability, speed of absorption, and metabolic pathways. Palatinose (generic name isomaltulose) is the only fully digested and slow-release carbohydrate. This glucose-fructose disaccharide isomaltulose, discovered in Germany in 1957 and marketed under the brand Palatinose, occurs naturally in small amounts in honey and sugar cane juice. Palatinose is made from sugar beet by strengthening the glucose-fructose linkage with the help of natural enzymes. This enzymatic conversion rearranges the α-1,2-glycosidic linkage in sucrose into a stronger, more stable α-1,6-glycosidic bond that is broken down more slowly by enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract, which is the key to the unique physiological properties of Palatinose.

Palatinose (isomaltulose) is a unique innovative carbohydrate: • The only fully digestible and slow-release carbohydrate, providing standard carbohydrate energy (4 kcal/g) • Balanced and sustained energy supply • Low blood glucose and insulin response (glycemic index = 32) • Improved metabolic profile, including lower GIP and higher GLP-1 release, to burn more body fat • Gastrointestinal tolerance as good as sugar • Natural, mild sweet taste • Toothfriendly

Slow-release property provides sustained energy.

Palatinose is different from readily available carbohydrates such as sucrose or corn syrup as its digestion and absorption is much slower resulting in less insulin release. Digestive enzymes hydrolyze Palatinose four to five times more slowly than sucrose because of the strong glucose-fructose bond, resulting in a slower release of glucose, slower intestinal absorption, and a longer-lasting fuel supply to the body and brain. This means a constant stream of energy over a longer period of time compared to quickly absorbed carbohydrates. Palatinose is also different from other non-available carbohydrates in that it is slowly but fully digested and absorbed in the small intestine – which means there is no risk of gastrointestinal distress, even at high intakes. Palatinose provides the same 4 kcal/g as other available carbohydrates yet these calories provide energy in a more balanced way – giving the body high quality calories for steady energy release. The slow digestion and absorption of Palatinose is reflected in the incretin response. Incretins (GIP (gastric inhibitory polypeptide) and GLP-1(glucagon-like peptide 1)) are gut hormones that stimulate glucose-dependent insulin secretion. Monosaccharides such as glucose trigger GIP release in the upper part of the small intestine; longer chain carbohydrates stimulate GLP-1 secretion in the lower part of the small intestine.

Low blood glucose response and smart glucose management benefit health.

Managing blood glucose levels and reducing blood glucose fluctuations are thought to benefit health. One consensus statement concludes that “there is sufficient convincing scientific evidence that following a carbohydratebased diet with lower impact on blood glucose levels reduces the risk for developing metabolic diseases like diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and possibly overweight and obesity and it improves blood glucose control in people who are already affected by diabetes mellitus.” The slower yet complete digestion and absorption of Palatinose is characterized by a slower, longer lasting, and steadier blood glucose response, without the significant drops in blood glucose associated with conventional higher glycemic sugars. The lower and more balanced blood glucose response results in less insulin release and an improved metabolic profile.

Glycemic index (GI) compares the blood glucose response associated with various carbohydrate foods to the response of a 50 g carbohydrate load of either glucose or white bread.

Palatinose has a GI of 32, in the low glycemic range, compared to a moderate GI of 68 for sucrose and a high GI of 86 for maltodextrin. The totality of data from over blood glucose response trials consistently finds a lower blood glucose response to low GI Palatinose as compared to sucrose, maltodextrin or other reference carbohydrates. The lower rise in blood glucose levels is associated with lower insulin levels. A claim for a lower rise in blood sugar levels has been laid down in EU legislation following the publication of a positive EFSA opinion.

Palatinose is a tool to help manage blood glucose response. It has been shown to provide a lower and sustained blood glucose response in healthy adults, in those with overweight and obesity or impaired glucose tolerance, as well as in individuals with type 1 and non-insulin dependent type 2 diabetes.

Improved metabolic profile through higher level of fat burning.

The body metabolizes both fat and carbohydrate to produce energy. Excess energy that is not immediately metabolized is stored as the glucose polysaccharide glycogen and/or as fat. The proportions of ingested fat and carbohydrate that are utilized for energy depend on the needs of the body, its metabolic state and physical activity, as well as on the type of food consumed and the subsequent insulin response in the body. The hormone insulin plays a key role in postprandial metabolic regulation. Most sugars and other high glycemic carbohydrates produce a high blood glucose response, and that stimulates high insulin release which drives glucose into cells and stimulates glucose storage in the liver as glycogen. High insulin levels also suppress cellular fatty acid oxidation in adipose tissue and promote hepatic fatty acid synthesis. Palatinose offers the advantage of slower and steadier glucose release into the bloodstream and thus lower insulin release, allowing the body to burn more fat than conventional high glycemic carbohydrates. Human intervention studies demonstrate these effects in healthy weight, overweight, and obese adults, as well as sedentary or physically active adults. The ability of Palatinose to promote fat oxidation is unique. Traditional sugars and carbohydrates are either high glycemic or induce higher carbohydrate oxidation rates for other reasons, for example, fructose content. The steady energy release of Palatinose creates a metabolic profile that supports both physical activity and weight management.

Palatinose™ offers unique benefits for physical activity.
Carbohydrate consumption is particularly important to support all levels of physical activity. Carbohydrates that are quickly digested and absorbed, like common sugars and maltodextrin, provide fast energy from glucose as the primary fuel; fat oxidation is largely suppressed. In contrast, Palatinose breaks down more slowly, steadily releasing energy, allowing the body to also use body fat as a fuel, and preserving the body’s own carbohydrate reserves to support activities of longer endurance. Studies at the Institute of Sport and Sport Science at the University of Freiburg (Germany), as well as other laboratories, observed that higher fat oxidation rates in various types of sports and physical activity result from Palatinose consumption rather than higher glycemic index carbohydrates like maltodextrin or sucrose. Research from the Swansea University (UK) showed that feeding Palatinose compared to dextrose before exercise improves glycemic control, protects against hypoglycemia and maintains running performance among individuals with type 1 diabetes. Investigators also found that a low glycemic meal after exercise and a Palatinose-containing bedtime snack improved overnight glycemic control and reduced risk for hypoglycemic episodes.

Effective and long-term weight management benefits with Palatinose.

An alarming number of people are impacted by overweight and obesity in today’s society. Positive energy balance, where calorie intake exceeds expenditure, plays a role; frequent consumption of high glycemic carbohydrates may contribute to the incidence of obesity as well. High blood glucose levels trigger high insulin release, promoting the use of carbohydrates instead of fat for energy. This suppresses fat mobilization and promotes the storage of fat in adipose and non-adipose tissue. Furthermore, fat oxidation may be suppressed in obese individuals. While it is not clear yet whether this is causal or a consequence of a higher body fat mass, it has been shown that obese individuals who oxidize fat more slowly tend to continue gradually gaining weight. Therefore, impaired fat oxidation appears to be an important contributor to long-term weight gain, independent of other factors, and increasing fat oxidation can benefit weight management and body composition. Sugar replacement with Palatinose has been shown to improve metabolic response and increase fat oxidation rates in healthy adults, independent of body weight, as well as in adults with normal or impaired glucose tolerance.

Other benefits: Dental health.

Palatinose is no substrate for oral bacteria and therefore the first sugar that is kind to teeth. Its toothfriendliness has been confirmed in pH telemetry studies. A corresponding claim has been accepted in the USA by FDA and implemented in the Code of Federal Regulations as well as in the EU following the publication of a positive EFSA opinion.
You can view our Carb3+ product containing Palatinose (isomaltulose) here
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