Now researchers say there’s a sugar that diabetics may be encouraged to use. It’s called tagatose (sold under the name Naturlose™).
Tagatose is a natural sugar that’s found in some dairy products (like cow’s milk, cheese and yogurt). A manufactured form was approved by the FDA in 2001. It is similar in bulk and texture to table sugar and 92 percent as sweet. However, only about 20 to 25 percent of the product is metabolized by the body. Thus, the sugar doesn’t produce the large spikes in blood sugar levels seen with table sugar.
Tagatose was developed by scientists at Joslin Diabetes Center, University of Maryland Medical Center. In a trial of patients with type 2 diabetes, researchers found large doses of tagatose had no effect on blood sugar levels. In a follow-up experiment, doctors gave patients a glucose tolerance test (use of a glucose-sweetened drink). Normally, blood sugar levels would skyrocket after the test. However, patients who received tagatose had lower than expected glucose levels, meaning the sugar blunted their response to the glucose drink.
Currently, tagatose is in phase III trials to evaluate its benefits in patients with type 2 diabetes. For information, call (800) 492-5538. Endocrinologist, Thomas Donner, M.D., says tagatose has other beneficial effects as well. Patients who take it gradually and consistently lose weight. It also appears to raise HDL cholesterol and inhibit digestive problems, dental plaque and bad breath.
For information about the trial, call (800) 492-5538.
For information about tagatose (Naturlose™), http://www.naturlose.com