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Table of Contents > Herbs & Supplements > Polydextrose Print

Polydextrose

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Also listed as: Litesse
Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Dosing
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • [14C] polydextrose, carbohydrate, citric acid, dextrose polymer, dietary fiber, glucose, Litesse®, oligosaccharide, polydextrose, polysaccharide, prebiotic, short-chain fatty acids, sorbitol, sugar substitute.

Background
  • Polydextrose is a carbohydrate and a nondigestible polysaccharide, used primarily as a sugar replacer. It has been studied for its effects on impaired glucose tolerance and childhood growth promotion. It has also been investigated for its potential laxative and lipid lowering effects. More high-quality human trials are needed.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *


Polydextrose has prebiotic activity and has generated interest in the food industry in the development of new "healthy" products. Additional research is needed in this area.

C


Preliminary studies have found that polydextrose did not inhibit glucose absorption and did not have a significant effect on glucagon or fatty acid levels in the blood. However, there was a significant decrease in blood glucose and insulin. High-quality human studies are needed in this area.

C


In early research, polydextrose has been found to soften stool consistency, decrease the transit time of food in the gastrointestinal tract, and improve the frequency and ease of defecation. Additional high-quality human studies are needed in this area.

C


In early research, polydextrose has been shown to have effects on triglyceride and cholesterol concentrations. Additional research is needed.

C


Preliminary evidence suggests that polydextrose had a small effect on satiety (feeling full). High-quality human studies are needed in this area.

C
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Food additive, food uses, nutritional supplement (prebiotic).

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older)

  • For lipid lowering (cholesterol and triglycerides), high blood sugar or glucose intolerance, 16 grams of polydextrose in four deciliters of a drink has been taken by mouth in two divided doses with main meals for 12 weeks. Subjects only consumed two deciliters daily for the first week of the study.
  • As a laxative, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and the European Commission Scientific Committee for Food (EC/SCF) assigned a mean laxative threshold of approximately 90 grams daily (1.3 grams per kilogram) or 50 grams as a single dose of polydextrose taken by mouth.

Children (under 18 years old)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for polydextrose in children.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid in people with a known allergy or sensitivity to polydextrose.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Polydextrose has been well tolerated in humans.
  • Use cautiously in people with gastrointestinal problems or diarrhea, as polydextrose in high amounts may result in gas, bloating, soft or loose stools, increased stool size, and diarrhea.
  • Use cautiously in people with pancreatic problems, based on reports of changes in the pancreas following polydextrose use.
  • Use cautiously in people with kidney disease, as polydextrose may cause kidney damage.
  • Polydextrose may lower blood sugar and insulin levels. Caution is advised in people with diabetes or hypoglycemia and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Use cautiously in people taking lipid-lowering medications, as polydextrose may affect lipid levels.
  • Use cautiously in people with skin conditions, as healthy infants have developed eczema as a side effect.
  • Avoid use in people with an allergy or hypersensitivity to polydextrose.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • There is currently a lack of high-quality scientific data on the use of polydextrose in pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  • Polydextrose may lower blood sugar or insulin levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. People taking insulin or drugs for diabetes by mouth should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Polydextrose may also interact with antibiotics, anticancer agents, agents used to treat diarrhea, gastrointestinal agents, laxatives, lipid-lowering agents, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, and weight loss agents.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Polydextrose may lower blood sugar or insulin levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
  • Polydextrose may also interact with antibacterial herbs and supplements, anticancer herbs and supplements, anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements, herbs and supplements used to treat diarrhea, calcium, carbohydrates, fiber supplements, gastrointestinal herbs or supplements, laxatives, lipid-lowering herbs and supplements, probiotics (such as B. lactis), and weight loss herbs and supplements.

Attribution
  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Auerbach MH, Craig SA, Howlett JF, et al. Caloric availability of polydextrose. Nutr Rev 2007;65(12 Pt 1):544-549.
  2. Ghoddusi HB, Grandison MA, Grandison AS, et al. In vitro study on gas generation and prebiotic effects of some carbohydrates and their mixtures. Anaerobe 2007;13(5-6):193-199.
  3. Hengst C, Ptok S, Roessler A, et al. Effects of polydextrose supplementation on different faecal parameters in healthy volunteers. Int J Food Sci Nutr 2009;60 Suppl 5:96-105.
  4. Herfel TM, Jacobi SK, Lin X, et al. Safety evaluation of polydextrose in infant formula using a suckling piglet model. Food Chem Toxicol 2009;47(7):1530-1537.
  5. Hernot DC, Boileau TW, Bauer LL, et al. In vitro fermentation profiles, gas production rates, and microbiota modulation as affected by certain fructans, galactooligosaccharides, and polydextrose. J Agric Food Chem 2009;57(4):1354-1361.
  6. Knapp BK, Parsons CM, Swanson KS, et al. Physiological responses to novel carbohydrates as assessed using canine and avian models. J Agric Food Chem 2008;56(17):7999-8006.
  7. Li J, Wang G, Yang Y. Determination of polydextrose in food by high performance anion exchange chromatographic method with pulsed amperometric detector. Wei Sheng Yan Jiu 2008;37(2):225-227.
  8. Liou BK, Grun IU. Effect of fat level on the perception of five flavor chemicals in ice cream with or without fat mimetics by using a descriptive test. J Food Sci 2007;72(8):S595-S604.
  9. Makelainen HS, Makivuokko HA, Salminen SJ, et al. The effects of polydextrose and xylitol on microbial community and activity in a 4-stage colon simulator. J Food Sci 2007;72(5):M153-M159.
  10. Nakamura N, Gaskins HR, Collier CT, et al. Molecular ecological analysis of fecal bacterial populations from term infants fed formula supplemented with selected blends of prebiotics. Appl Environ Microbiol 2009;75(4):1121-1128.
  11. Oliveira RP, Florence AC, Silva RC, et al. Effect of different prebiotics on the fermentation kinetics, probiotic survival and fatty acids profiles in nonfat symbiotic fermented milk. Int J Food Microbiol 2009;128(3):467-472.
  12. Satoh H, Hara T, Murakawa D, et al. Soluble dietary fiber protects against nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-induced damage to the small intestine in cats. Dig Dis Sci 2010;55(5):1264-1271.
  13. Tiihonen K, Suomalainen T, Tynkkynen S, et al. Effect of prebiotic supplementation on a probiotic bacteria mixture: comparison between a rat model and clinical trials. Br J Nutr 2008;99(4):826-831.
  14. Willis HJ, Eldridge AL, Beiseigel J, et al. Greater satiety response with resistant starch and corn bran in human subjects. Nutr Res 2009;29(2):100-105.
  15. Ziegler E, Vanderhoof JA, Petschow B, et al. Term infants fed formula supplemented with selected blends of prebiotics grow normally and have soft stools similar to those reported for breast-fed infants. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2007;44(3):359-364.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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