Background: The fundamental cause of overweight and obesity is consumption of calorie-dense foods. We have introduced a zero-calorie sweet sugar, d-psicose (d-allulose), a rare sugar that has been proven to have strong antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic effects, and could be used as a replacement of natural sugar for the obese and diabetic subjects.
Aim: Above mentioned efficacy of d-psicose (d-allulose) has been confirmed in our previous studies on type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) model Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats with short-term treatment. In this study we investigated the long-term effect of d-psicose in preventing the commencement and progression of T2DM with the mechanism of preservation of pancreatic β-cells in OLETF rats.
Methods: Treated OLETF rats were fed 5% d-psicose dissolved in water and control rats only water. Nondiabetic control rats, Long-Evans Tokushima Otsuka (LETO), were taken as healthy control and fed water. To follow the progression of diabetes, periodic measurements of blood glucose, plasma insulin, and body weight changes were continued till sacrifice at 60 weeks. Periodic in vivo body fat mass was measured. On sacrifice, pancreas, liver, and abdominal adipose tissues were collected for various staining tests.
Results: d-Psicose prevented the commencement and progression of T2DM till 60 weeks through the maintenance of blood glucose levels, decrease in body weight gain, and the control of postprandial hyperglycemia, with decreased levels of HbA1c in comparison to nontreated control rats. This improvement in glycemic control was accompanied by the maintenance of plasma insulin levels and the preservation of pancreatic β-cells with the significant reduction in inflammatory markers. Body fat accumulation was significantly lower in the treatment group, with decreased infiltration of macrophages in the abdominal adipose tissue.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the rare sugar d-psicose could be beneficial for the prevention and control of obesity and hyperglycemia with the preservation of β-cells in the progression of T2DM.
Keywords: OLETF rats; adiposity; insulin resistance; rare sugar d-psicose; type 2 diabetes mellitus; β-islet preservation.