L-Arabinose is now available in veggie capsules or bulk (please choose one).
If you are on a ketogenic diet and keen on avoiding sugar at all cost, L-arabinose can be your best friend. Here is the list of facts:
Naturally-occuring, plant based carbohydrate (derived from corn husk)
- Produced naturally by fermentation
Sucrose inhbitor (i.e. blocks SUGAR, does not block carbohydrates or sweeteners)
Prebiotic properties (unused L-arabinose and undigested sugar will reach the large intestine where they will be consumed by gut bacteria)
Controls blood glucose levels and body weight
Pleasant sweet taste approximately 50% the sweetness to sugar
- Is it safe? YES. L-Arabinose is approved to be used as a safe food additive by the United States Food and Drug Administration and Japan. (ASP Fully up-to-date toxicology information has been sought http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/fcn/fcnDetailNavigation.cfm?rpt=eafuslisting&id=252 ) It also has GRAS (Generally regarded as safe) status through the Flavour and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA).
- Does it have calories? NO. It is a non-calorie natural compound sweetener, approved by the US Medical Association and Japanese health authority.
- So how does it block sugar? It is quite simple. It works on sucrase, the natural sugar-breaking enzyme. Sugar is only metabolised (taken in by your body) when they are broken down into glucose and fructose. So what if this does not happen? Sugar just travels down to your gut and become the food for your gut bacteria!
- How much sugar does it block? The addition of 3% L-Arabinose to sucrose can inhibit the absorption of 40% sucrose. A study in Japan showed that 4% of L-arabinose to sucrose inhibited the absorption of 48% sugar (sucrose). At the same time, it prevents the increase of blood glucose by around 50%.
- Can you just take a lot so that it would block 100% sugar? No, L-arabinose cannot do that. No matter how much you take, it would only block up to 50% sugar (sucrose).
- How can I calculate how much to take? It is important for you to know how much sugar you will be consuming. We recommend apps such as MyfitnessPal. For example, you go to Starbucks and order a Venti Caramel Frappuccino and blueberry scone: both would have 86g of sugar. By taking 2.58g of L-Arabinose (3% of sugar), it will inhibit the absorption of 34.4g of sugar, i.e. your net sugar intake from this snacking would be 51.6g. However, if you already avoid sugar and processed food, but wishes to avoid small amount of sugar contained in sauce, salad dressing, soup, etc, then taking a teaspoon before meal would be sufficient.
- What is the maximum amount of L-Arabinose you can take daily? 15g seems to be the maximum recommended daily dosage. This is equivalent to blocking 500g of sugar.
- Are there any side-effects? unutilised L-arabinose and undigested forms of sugar become food to gut bacteria. hence if you take too much L-arabinose, it may cause digestive implications such as flatulence or diarrhea.
- And how does it regulate the blood-sugar level? L-Arabinose is similar to glucose, and this permits L-arabinose to interfere at molecular level with the pathways through which glucose is metabolised by the body. This slows down the speed at which we burn gluclose. Consequently energy is released over a longer period and blood-sugar level is regulated in a natural way.
- What about alcohol? Most of the alcohol, unless it is sugar-enhanced cocktail, contains virtually no sugar so L-arabinose will not work to block it.
- What about fruits? L-arabinose does not work on fructose in fruits, so let's stick to low-fructose containing fruits such as berries, passion fruits and so on.
- When can you take it? Dissolve L-arabinose in small amount of water and drink it before you have a sugar containing meal.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
According to the World Health Organization, a diabetes epidemic is ongoing; >250 million people worldwide have diabetes, and by 2025 this total is expected to increase to >380 million people. Type 2 diabetes is responsible for 90–95% of the cases. This highlights the importance of developing new strategies in the fight against diabetes, prevention, and delay of the disease. A healthy lifestyle with changes in diet and an increased physical activity level is the most important and sustainable strategy. However, other novel strategies may be additive, such as the one suggested in the current study, wherein the addition of l-arabinose to a sugar beverage was shown to reduce postprandial blood glucose fluctuations. Additional studies are needed explore whether the same results are obtainable in other food matrixes and to explore the long-term health consequences. (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/94/2/472.full)