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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1993 Aug;77(2):388-92.

Carbohydrate metabolism and urinary excretion of calcium and oxalate after ingestion of polyol sweeteners.

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Explorations Fonctionnelles Rénales Métaboliques et Endocriniennes, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Besançon, France.


Polyols are widely used instead of glucose and sucrose in sweets and dietary products because they are barely cariogenic, and their energy value is lower. In addition, it has been shown that calciuria and oxaluria increase after an oral glucose (Glu) load. We, therefore, investigated the effects of a single polyol ingestion on carbohydrate, calcium, phosphate, and oxalate metabolism in 10 healthy subjects. On 5 experimental days, subjects ingested 20 g Glu, Lycasin (Lyc), Maltisorb (Mal), sorbitol (Sor), or xylitol (Xyl). Glu, Lyc, and Mal intake caused an increase in glycemia [respectively, +34% (P < 0.001), +15% (P < 0.001), and +15% (P < 0.001)], insulinemia [respectively, +358% (P < 0.001), +88% (P < 0.05), and +94% (P < 0.01)], and C-peptide level [respectively, +170% (P < 0.001), +15% (P < 0.01), and +15% (P < 0.001)]. Conversely, no change occurred in glycemia, insulinemia, or C-peptide levels after ingestion of Sor or Xyl. Urinary calcium increased after Glu (+64%; P < 0.01) and Xyl (+74%; P < 0.01) intake, and urinary phosphate increased after Xyl (+27%; P < 0.05), but decreased after a Glu load (-68%; P < 0.01). Only Xyl increased urinary excretion of oxalate (+53%; P < 0.05). Our results suggest that ingestion of polyols causes a much lesser pancreatic stimulation than Glu intake. Also, Lyc, Mal, and Sor sweeteners have no effect on urinary excretion of calcium and oxalate, whereas calciuria and oxaluria increase after Xyl ingestion.

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