Ingestion of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is associated with the risk of both diabetes and obesity. Rare sugar syrup (RSS) has been developed by alkaline isomerization of HFCS and has anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects. However, the influence of RSS on glucose metabolism has not been explored. We investigated whether long-term administration of RSS maintains glucose tolerance and whether the underlying mechanism involves hepatic glucokinase translocation. Wistar rats were administered water, RSS, or HFCS in drinking water for 10 weeks and then evaluated for glucose tolerance, insulin tolerance, liver glycogen content, and subcellular distribution of liver glucokinase. RSS significantly suppressed body weight gain and abdominal fat mass (p < 0.05). The glucose tolerance test revealed significantly higher blood glucose levels in the HFCS group compared to the water group, whereas the RSS group had significantly lower blood glucose levels from 90 to 180 min (p < 0.05). At 30, 60, and 90 min, the levels of insulin in the RSS group were significantly lower than those in the water group (p < 0.05). The amount of hepatic glycogen was more than 3 times higher in the RSS group than that in the other groups. After glucose loading, the nuclear export of glucokinase was significantly increased in the RSS group compared to the water group. These results imply that RSS maintains glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, at least partly, by enhancing nuclear export of hepatic glucokinase.
Keywords: d-allulose; d-psicose; glucokinase; insulin sensitivity; rare sugar.