Rebaudioside A and Erythritol
Sugar-free and reduced-calorie foods and beverages are grabbing more interest due to the increasing rates of obesity all over the World. The market is showing more and more interest in natural sweeteners compared to synthetic sweeteners. Non-nutritive sweeteners are sugar substitutes that have zero calories and do not raise blood glucose levels. They may be the preferred choice for reducing carbohydrate and calorie intake in people with diabetes.
What is Rebaudioside A?
Stevia sweeteners are derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) plant. The stevia plant has been used for food and medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. Purified extracts of the sweet substances found in the stevia leaf, called steviol glycosides, are considered to be generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Steviol glycosides all have a common basic backbone called steviol. They include compounds like many different forms of rebaudiosides, the most common of which is rebaudioside A (or reb A).
What is Erythritol?
Erythritol belongs to a class of compounds called sugar alcohols, or polyol, which are water-soluble compounds that occur naturally in many fruits and vegetables. It is also commercially produced by fermentation from a simple sugar derived from corn, called dextrose. It’s used as a zero-calorie sweetener to help replace calories from carbohydrates and sugars in packaged foods and beverages. The sweetness of erythritol is about 70% to 80% that of sucrose, and its calories are only 10% of the calories in sucrose.
What is Glycemic Index?
The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a food causes our blood sugar levels to rise. The measure ranks food on a scale of zero to 100.
Foods with a high glycemic index (GI) are quickly digested and absorbed, causing a rapid rise in blood sugar, while foods with a low GI are digested and absorbed at a slower rate, and subsequently, causing a slower rise in blood sugar levels.
What is Glucose Intolerance?
Simply put, inability to properly metabolize glucose. Glucose Intolerance is higher than normal blood sugar levels, also known as hyperglycemia.
Normally sugar is taken from your blood and sent to your cells. For people with glucose intolerance, too much sugar stays in their blood that causes their blood vessels to become inflamed.
What is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to elevated blood glucose following a meal.
What is Glucagon?
Glucagon is a hormone promoting glucose production and secreted by the pancreas in response to a fall in blood glucose.
What is Glucose Homeostasis?
It can be defined as the balance of insulin and glucagon to maintain blood glucose.
Glycemic Effects of Rebaudioside A and Erythritol in People with Glucose Intolerance
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the glycemic effects of rebaudioside A and erythritol as a sweetener in people with glucose intolerance. In this study, the glycemic effect was evaluated after 2 weeks of consumption of rebaudioside A and erythritol as sweeteners in a pre-diabetic population. The results suggest that consumption of rebaudioside A and erythritol does not alter the glucose homeostasis in people with glucose intolerance.
- Shin, Dong Hee, et al. “Glycemic effects of rebaudioside A and erythritol in people with glucose intolerance.” Diabetes & metabolism journal 40.4 (2016): 283.
- Magnuson, B. A., Carakostas, M. C., Moore, N. H., Poulos, S. P., & Renwick, A. G. (2016). Biological fate of low-calorie sweeteners. Nutrition reviews, 74(11), 670-689.
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