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J Nutr. 1994 Sep;124(9):1647-53.

Dietary components of malt extract such as maltodextrins, proteins and inorganic salts have distinct effects on glucose uptake and glycogen concentrations in rats.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Basel, Switzerland.


As shown previously, glycogen deposition in liver and muscle is significantly greater in rats fed a diet containing barley malt extract than in those fed diets containing glucose or starch. We investigated whether particular components of malt extract (glucose oligomers, inorganic salts, protein) were responsible for this effect. Food-deprived rats were fed diets containing carbohydrates of different chain lengths [glucose, maltose, maltodextrins or malt carbohydrates (84-86 g/100 g)] in the presence and absence of inorganic salts (2 g/100 g) and maltodextrin diets (78 g/100 g) containing either no protein or 20 g casein/100 g. Dietary glucose oligomers caused higher blood glucose concentrations than consumption of glucose or maltose but had no significant influence on liver or muscle glycogen. Salt addition resulted in higher muscle glycogen concentrations but had no effect on blood glucose or liver glycogen. Hepatic glycogen concentrations were significantly greater in rats fed casein compared with those fed no protein. We propose that consumption of malt extract has the following advantages over consumption of diets containing glucose or maltose: 1) better glucose absorption related to the presence of glucose oligomers, 2) greater hepatic glycogen concentrations associated with the protein in malt extract, and 3) greater glycogen concentrations in muscle due to the presence of inorganic salts.

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