World Diabetes Day: Beneo raises awareness of diabetes risks and prevention

Beneo underscores the significance of understanding one’s risk of type 2 diabetes to potentially prevent or delay its onset by emphasizing the theme “Know Your Risk, Know Your Response,” on the occasion of World Diabetes Day.

“The metabolic and physiological risk factors of contracting non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and being overweight or obese, or delaying their onset, are influenced by a range of factors such as having high blood glucose and blood fat levels or raised blood pressure,” Anke Sentko, vice president of regulatory affairs and nutrition communication at Beneo, tells Nutrition Insight.

“However, the development of such diseases can be influenced by diet and lifestyle-related changes. Beneo’s first citizen science study conducted under real-life conditions and published last year confirmed the health benefits of Beneo’s slow-release carbohydrate Palatinose and the prebiotic fiber Orafti Synergy1,” she continues.

Low glycaemic diet
Beneo outlines age as a significant factor in type 2 diabetes risk, often associated with factors like being overweight, having insulin resistance and metabolic issues, while further pointing out that scientific consensus supports the role of low glycemic diets in mitigating this risk and managing conditions like coronary heart disease. Sentko explains that in a balanced diet, carbohydrates are essential, but that evidence-based reports suggest prioritizing carbohydrates that do not spike insulin levels.

Wholegrain food still life shot on rustic wooden table.Slow-release carbohydrates are said to allow a lower blood glucose profile throughout the day.

“This is to maintain a lower blood glucose profile throughout the day, enabling a lower insulin level to be achieved. Due to their low or non-glycaemic profile, isomaltulose, chicory root fiber (inulin, oligofructose) and isomalt can help create foods and beverages that support blood sugar management.”

She exemplifies Beneo’s Palatinose (isomaltulose) as a slow-release sugar made from sucrose, naturally sourced from sugar beet. It is also naturally found in honey.

“Palatinose is unique in its ability to deliver a lower rise in blood glucose while delivering full carbohydrate energy (4 kcal/g). Its slow uptake results in a low and balanced blood glucose response, making it an ideal ingredient to help support blood sugar management,” says Sentko.

Sugar alternative 
Isomaltulose also carries an EU health claim for providing a lower blood glucose response.

“Beneo’s sugar replacer isomalt supports a low glycaemic diet by enabling tasty and enjoyable sugar-free confectionery and other food products. It provides half the sugar calories while having an almost neglectable effect on blood sugar and insulin levels,” details Sentko.

She points out that chicory root fibers, such as Beneo’s Orafti Inulin and Oligofructose, contribute to a low glycaemic diet by replacing available carbohydrates and enriching the food with a dietary fiber.

“Thus, they support effective blood sugar management. At the same time, numerous scientific studies have shown that chicory root fiber is one of the very few proven prebiotics that nourish the beneficial gut microbiota.”

Sentko continues: “This prebiotic effect was also demonstrated in a recent systematic literature review with meta-analyses, considered the strongest methodology in the hierarchy of scientific evidence and based on 50 human intervention studies. Chicory root fibers can support digestive health, well-being and weight management.”

Blood glucose management
Beneo’s recent citizen science study reveals that incorporating the company’s functional carbohydrate (isomaltulose) and prebiotic chicory root fibers into a regular diet positively impacts blood glucose management.

“Beneo’s first citizen science study conducted under real-life conditions and published last year confirmed the health benefits of Beneo’s slow-release carbohydrate Palatinose and the prebiotic fiber Orafti Synergy1,” highlights Sentko. “The results show that both ingredients improve blood glucose control and that the latter also beneficially modulates gut microbiota through a significant increase in beneficial bifidobacteria.” Beneo’s citizen science study reveals that isomaltulose and prebiotic chicory root fibers positively impact blood glucose management.

She explains that instead of controlled conditions where all participants eat and drink in a strict and well-controlled manner during the trial, participants in this study consumed Beneo’s ingredients in addition to their regular diet. “The effects observed were robust even in a very heterogeneous population and not overruled by the habitual diet and usual lifestyle.”

The study included two dietary interventions targeting the support of blood glucose management and the gut microbiota by increasing the beneficial bacteria bifidobacteria. The test phase took place over 14 days, during which participants consumed their habitual diets.

During three of these days, they added drinks with either 30 g sucrose or 30 g Palatinose twice a day to their breakfast and lunch. Orafti Synergy1 (10g/d) was added to their usual dinner for 11 days.

The researchers evaluated participants’ blood glucose response throughout the study through continuous blood glucose monitoring. They also collected stool samples at the beginning and end of the test phase, which were analyzed using a gut microbiome RNA sequencing technique to measure the compositional changes of the gut microbiota.

Sentko highlights: “The findings highlight the added value of Beneo’s ingredients for everyday life through various applications. When added to the individual diet, beneficial effects previously shown in controlled clinical studies could also be demonstrated in a habitual diet. Compared to sucrose, Palatinose showed a lower blood glucose response, a lower and more balanced blood glucose profile for the day and a slow release and sustained glucose supply.”

“These latest findings demonstrate that the combination of Palatinose and Orafti Synergy1, independently of each other, supports blood glucose management for improved metabolic health. Therefore, incorporating these functional ingredients as part of a healthy diet can improve the diet quality, in the context of personalized nutrition, and contribute to overall better health,” she concludes.

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