Daily consumption of one teaspoon of trehalose can help maintain glucose homeostasis: a double-blind, randomized controlled trial conducted in healthy volunteers

Nutr. J. 2020;19:68.

Chiyo Yoshizane, Akiko Mizote, Chikako Arai, Norie Arai, Rieko Ogawa, Shin Endo, Hitoshi Mitsuzumi & Shimpei Ushio

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Abstracts

Background

Trehalose is a natural disaccharide that is widely distributed. A previous study has shown that daily consumption of 10 g of trehalose improves glucose tolerance in individuals with signs of metabolic syndrome. In the present study, we determined whether a lower dose (3.3 g/day) of trehalose improves glucose tolerance in healthy Japanese volunteers.

Methods

This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of healthy Japanese participants (n = 50). Each consumed 3.3 g of trehalose (n = 25) or sucrose (n = 25) daily for 78 days. Their body compositions were assessed following 0, 4, 8, and 12 weeks; and serum biochemical parameters were assayed and oral 75-g glucose tolerance tests were performed at baseline and after 12 weeks.

Results

There were similar changes in body composition and serum biochemistry consistent with established seasonal variations in both groups, but there were no differences in any of these parameters between the two groups. However, whereas after 12 weeks of sucrose consumption, the plasma glucose concentration 2 h after a 75-g glucose load was significantly higher than the fasting concentration, after 12 weeks of trehalose consumption the fasting and 2-h plasma glucose concentrations were similar. Furthermore, an analysis of the participants with relatively high postprandial blood glucose showed that the plasma glucose concentration 2 h after a 75-g glucose load was significantly lower in the trehalose group than in the sucrose group.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that trehalose helps lower postprandial blood glucose in healthy humans with higher postprandial glucose levels within the normal range, and may therefore contribute to the prevention of pathologies that are predisposed to by postprandial hyperglycemia,, even if the daily intake of trehalose is only 3.3 g, an amount that is easily incorporated into a meal.

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