Effects of isomalt consumption on gastrointestinal and metabolic parameters in healthy volunteers

Br J Nutr. 2005 Oct;94(4):575-81. doi: 10.1079/bjn20051510.


The polyol isomalt (Palatinit) is a well established sugar replacer. The impact of regular isomalt consumption on metabolism and parameters of gut function in nineteen healthy volunteers was examined in a randomised, double-blind, cross-over trial with two 4-week test periods. Volunteers received 30 g isomalt or 30 g sucrose daily as part of a controlled diet. In addition to clinical standard diagnostics, biomarkers and parameters currently discussed as risk factors for CHD, diabetes or obesity were analysed. Urine and stool Ca and phosphate excretions were measured. In addition, mean transit time, defecation frequency, stool consistency and weight were determined. Consumption of test products was affirmed by the urinary excretion of mannitol. Blood lipids were comparable in both phases, especially in volunteers with hyperlipidaemia, apart from lower apo A-1 (P=0.03) for all subjects. Remnant-like particles, oxidised LDL, NEFA, fructosamine and leptin were comparable and not influenced by isomalt. Ca and phosphate homeostasis was not affected. Stool frequency was moderately increased in the isomalt phase (P=0.006) without changes in stool consistency and stool water. This suggests that isomalt is well tolerated and that consumption of isomalt does not impair metabolic function or induce hypercalciuria. In addition, the study data indicate that isomalt could be useful in improving bowel function.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Calcium / analysis
  • Calcium / urine
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Defecation
  • Digestion / drug effects*
  • Disaccharides / administration & dosage*
  • Disaccharides / chemistry
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Female
  • Flatulence
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / drug effects
  • Gastrointestinal Transit / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mannitol / urine
  • Middle Aged
  • Phosphates / analysis
  • Phosphates / urine
  • Sucrose / administration & dosage
  • Sugar Alcohols / administration & dosage*
  • Sugar Alcohols / chemistry
  • Sweetening Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Sweetening Agents / chemistry


  • Disaccharides
  • Phosphates
  • Sugar Alcohols
  • Sweetening Agents
  • Mannitol
  • Sucrose
  • Palatinit
  • Calcium