Reduced-calorie sugar substitutes are becoming a popular way to indulge in sweets without the extra calories.
Journal notes of Agro-Food Chemistry notes that these alternatives are safe for humans, although multiple studies have shown that some of them harm gut bacteria and can cause diabetes and obesity. In addition, some sugar substitutes can be deadly to animals. So researchers continue to look for sweet-tasting, low-calorie compounds that are both safe and healthy.
The most promising candidate is galactooligosaccharides, low-calorie sugars found in mammalian milk, dandelions, bananas, and some other foods. These polysaccharides have activity similar to prebiotics. That is, they can support the development of beneficial gut bacteria that make up the gut microbiome. But galactooligosaccharides are not sweet enough to replace the sugar we are used to.
Substances called mogrosides – 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar – are found in the fruits of the loh han gu vine, also known as arhat. True, the extract of this plant has an unpleasant odor, which can be removed during the fermentation process.
The researchers decided to use the best properties of these natural materials to synthesize a new low-calorie substance.
In fact, they got a substance almost as sweet as sucrose, which gives hope that many people will like the potential novelty.
And in the course of laboratory studies, it was found that this substance increases the number of beneficial bacteria in the human intestine, including species of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. In addition, the bacteria began to release more metabolites such as acetate, propionate, and butyrate, suggesting that this compound may have a biological effect on the gut microbiome.
According to the researchers, the first results of their work are encouraging. In the future, they will look more closely at the effects of the new substance on gut health.
Source: News. Ro