Study shows BENEO’s Palatinose™ stimulates the release of GLP-1 in overweight adults

A new study, led by Prof. Andreas Pfeiffer (Zhang et al. [i]), demonstrates that intake of the naturally sourced, smart carbohydrate Palatinose™ stimulates the release of beneficial gut hormones including GLP-1 in overweight adults, even if its consumption is followed by a meal. The findings show that Palatinose™ (isomaltulose) has a beneficial effect on metabolic parameters that are important for maintaining a healthy body weight, blood glucose control and cardiovascular health.

GLP-1 has beneficial impacts on the metabolism including the reduction of appetite and thereby weight gain. The benefits of the gut hormone are widely studied and drugs mimicking the effects of GLP-1 are used in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. Some of these treatments have recently gained a huge amount of interest for reducing obesity and are being positioned as ‘weight loss’ drugs. The findings of this latest study show how Palatinose™ can instead enhance the release of the body’s own GLP-1.

The study was designed to explore the effect of Palatinose™, compared to sucrose, on the release of gut hormones. Using a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, cross-over design, the study was undertaken with 30 overweight/obese volunteers, aged between 49 and 77, half of whom had Type 2 diabetes. The participants’ blood glucose, insulin and incretins, including GLP-1, were monitored over a nine-hour period.

The first three hours of measurement showed the volunteers’ metabolic response to breakfast, with no intervention. At the three-hour marker, a drink containing 50g isomaltulose or 50g sucrose was consumed, followed by lunch one hour later. The results showed that those who had consumed the isomaltulose, even as pre-lunch drink, produced significantly higher GLP-1 levels than those who had ingested sucrose. As demonstrated for the first time, the stronger release of gut hormones with Palatinose™ is not masked by a subsequent meal. Thus, it can be concluded that Palatinose™ promotes the release of gut hormones including GLP-1 even when consumed one hour before a complex meal.

GLP-1 has a beneficial impact on metabolism, including the reduction of appetite and weight gain, and improves blood glucose control. The study findings again show that Palatinose™ influences factors which contribute to a better metabolic state and therefore provides benefits beyond slow released and sustained energy.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Stephan Theis, Head of Nutrition Science at BENEO said: “Research on metabolism regulating gut hormones is an exciting topic for clinical nutrition and meal replacement applications. This study’s focus on older, overweight and obese participants, with or without diabetes mellitus, makes it highly relevant for a large part of the global population. The findings add to the already existing scientific evidence on isomaltulose’s ability to support metabolic health in daily life situations, including a higher secretion of the beneficial gut hormone GLP-1 in the general population. Once again, BENEO’s slow-release carbohydrate Palatinose™ has been shown to be effective and suitable in product developments for weight management and blood glucose management.”

The total of the scientific evidence also supports corresponding structure/function claims in the USA like “Palatinose™ supports an increased release of GLP-1”.

BENEO’s Palatinose™ (isomaltulose) is a naturally sourced, smart carbohydrate that provides full carbohydrate energy (4kcal/g) in a more balanced way, thanks to its low-glycaemic profile. As a result of its slow-release properties, Palatinose™ reaches the lower parts of the small intestine thereby promoting the release of GLP-1. It is generated through the enzymatic rearrangement of the glycosidic bond between the glucose and fructose linkage in sucrose and is 100% vegan, kosher, halal, non-GMO and non-cariogenic.



[i] Zhang J. et al (2024); Isomaltulose Enhances GLP-1 and PYY Secretion to a Mixed Meal in People With or Without Type 2 Diabetes as Compared to Saccharose. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. 68(4):e2300086, (online since 08/02/2024).


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For further information on BENEO and its ingredients, please visit: and or follow BENEO on X (formerly Twitter): @_BENEO or LinkedIn:

The BENEO-Institute is an organization which brings together BENEO’s expertise from Nutrition Science and Legislation teams. It acts as an advisory body for customers and partners reaching from ingredient approval, physiological effects and nutritional composition to communication, education, and labelling. The BENEO-Institute works on topics related to the microbiome and prebiotics, digestive health and well-being, blood sugar management and the achievement of lower glycaemic diets, cognition and mental health, as well as bone health. It also addresses nutrition related questions regarding protein and fibre intake requirements, sugar reduction and more.

The BENEO-Institute facilitates access to the latest scientific research and knowledge throughout all nutritional and regulatory topics related to BENEO ingredients. It provides BENEO customers and partners with substantiated guidance for some of the most critical questions in the food and feed industry, as well as public health. BENEO is a division of the Südzucker Group that employs more than 1,000 people and has production units in Belgium, Chile, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

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