Gastrointestinal Tolerance and Glycemic Response of Isomaltooligosaccharides in Healthy Adults

Nutrients. 2018 Mar 3;10(3):301. doi: 10.3390/nu10030301.


Ingredients delivering functional and nutritional benefits are of interest to food manufacturers. Isomaltooligosaccharides (IMOs) which serve as alternate sweeteners fit into this category. IMOs are a mixture of α-(1 → 6) and α-(1 → 4)-linked glucose oligomers, synthesized by an enzymatic reaction from starch (corn, tapioca). The aim of this study was to evaluate the fermentability and glycemic response of IMO in a healthy population. Two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over human studies were conducted. In the first study (n = 26), participants' breath hydrogen over 24 h, gastrointestinal tolerance, and glycemic and insulinemic response to BIOLIGOTM IL5040 isomaltooligosaccharide were measured. In another study (n = 10), participants' two-hour post-prandial glycemic response to BIOLIGOTM IL5040 isomaltooligosaccharide and BIOLIGOTM IL7010 isomaltooligosaccharide was measured compared to dextrose (control). The IMOs differed in the composition of mono and di-saccharide sugars. IMO syrup dose was matched for 50 g of total carbohydrates and was consumed by mixing in water (237 mL/8 oz.). Mean composite gastrointestinal score was not significantly different (p = 0.322) between the control (1.42) and IMO (1.38). Lack of difference in glycemic response (p = 0.662), with no impact on breath hydrogen (24 h; p = 0.319) and intestinal tolerance, demonstrates that IMO is digestible and can be used to replace sugars in product formulations.

Keywords: breath hydrogen; glycemic response; isomaltooligosaccharides; tolerance.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Breath Tests
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / adverse effects
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism*
  • Digestion*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fermentation*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / metabolism*
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oligosaccharides / administration & dosage
  • Oligosaccharides / adverse effects
  • Oligosaccharides / metabolism*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Insulin
  • Oligosaccharides
  • maltooligosaccharides