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Rare mono- and disaccharides as healthy alternative for traditional sugars and sweeteners?

Authors
  • Van Laar, Amar D E1
  • Grootaert, Charlotte1
  • Van Camp, John1
  • 1 Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Department of Food Technology, Safety and Health, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. , (Belgium)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Publisher
Informa UK (Taylor & Francis)
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2021
Volume
61
Issue
5
Pages
713–741
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2020.1743966
PMID: 32212974
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Obesity and type 2 diabetes are major health problems affecting hundreds of millions of people. Caloric overfeeding with calorie-dense food ingredients like sugars may contribute to these chronic diseases. Sugar research has also identified mechanisms via which conventional sugars like sucrose and fructose can adversely influence metabolic health. To replace these sugars, numerous sugar replacers including artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols have been developed. Rare sugars became new candidates to replace conventional sugars and their health effects are already reported in individual studies, but overviews and critical appraisals of their health effects are missing. This is the first paper to provide a detailed review of the metabolic health effects of rare sugars as a group. Especially allulose has a wide range of health effects. Tagatose and isomaltulose have several health effects as well, while other rare sugars mainly provide health benefits in mechanistic studies. Hardly any health claims have been approved for rare sugars due to a lack of evidence from human trials. Human trials with direct measures for disease risk factors are needed to allow a final appraisal of promising rare sugars. Mechanistic cell culture studies and animal models are required to enlarge our knowledge on understudied rare sugars.

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