Maltitol inhibits small intestinal glucose absorption and increases insulin mediated muscle glucose uptake ex vivo but not in normal and type 2 diabetic rats

Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2017 Feb;68(1):73-81. doi: 10.1080/09637486.2016.1216527. Epub 2016 Aug 12.


This study investigated the effects of maltitol on intestinal glucose absorption and muscle glucose uptake using ex vivo and in vivo experimental models. The ex vivo experiment was conducted in isolated jejunum and psoas muscle from normal rats. The in vivo study investigated the effects of a single bolus dose of maltitol on gastric emptying, intestinal glucose absorption and digesta transit in normal and type 2 diabetic rats. Maltitol inhibited glucose absorption in isolated rat jejunum and increased glucose uptake in isolated rat psoas muscle in the presence of insulin but not in the absence of insulin. In contrast, maltitol did not significantly (p > 0.05) alter small intestinal glucose absorption or blood glucose levels as well as gastric emptying and digesta transit in normal or type 2 diabetic rats. The results suggest that maltitol may not be a suitable dietary supplement for anti-diabetic food and food products to improve glycemic control.

Keywords: Intestinal glucose absorption; maltitol; muscle glucose uptake; rats; type 2 diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Absorption, Physiological
  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Gastric Emptying
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Gastrointestinal Transit
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Hyperglycemia / prevention & control
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Jejunum / metabolism
  • Male
  • Maltose / analogs & derivatives*
  • Maltose / metabolism
  • Maltose / therapeutic use
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Psoas Muscles
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sugar Alcohols / metabolism
  • Sugar Alcohols / therapeutic use*


  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Sugar Alcohols
  • Maltose
  • maltitol
  • Glucose