Rare sugars, d-allulose, d-tagatose and d-sorbose, differently modulate lipid metabolism in rats

J Sci Food Agric. 2018 Mar;98(5):2020-2026. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.8687. Epub 2017 Nov 3.


Background: Rare sugars including d-allulose, d-tagatose, and d-sorbose are present in limited quantities in nature; some of these rare sugars are now commercially produced using microbial enzymes. Apart from the anti-obesity and anti-hyperglycaemic activities of d-allulose, effects of these sugars on lipid metabolism have not been investigated. Therefore, we aimed to determine if and how d-tagatose and d-sorbose modulate lipid metabolism in rats. After feeding these rare sugars to rats, parameters on lipid metabolism were determined.

Results: No diet-related effects were observed on body weight and food intake. Hepatic lipogenic enzyme activity was lowered by d-allulose and d-sorbose but increased by d-tagatose. Faecal fatty acid excretion was non-significantly decreased by d-allulose, but significantly increased by d-sorbose without affecting faecal steroid excretion. A trend toward reduced adipose tissue weight was observed in groups fed rare sugars. Serum adiponectin levels were decreased by d-sorbose relative to the control. Gene expression of cholesterol metabolism-related liver proteins tended to be down-regulated by d-allulose and d-sorbose but not by d-tagatose. In the small intestine, SR-B1 mRNA expression was suppressed by d-sorbose.

Conclusion: Lipid metabolism in rats varies with rare sugars. Application of rare sugars to functional foods for healthy body weight maintenance requires further studies. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

Keywords: d-allulose; d-psicose; d-sorbose; d-tagatose; lipogenesis.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Fructose / metabolism*
  • Hexoses / metabolism*
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sorbose / metabolism*


  • Hexoses
  • psicose
  • Fructose
  • Sorbose
  • tagatose