D-fagomine is a non-digestible glucose analog naturally present in buckwheat grain and buckwheat based traditional food. This little-known ingredient has just been evaluated in several clinical trials sponsored by Bioglane, showing a very competitive performance in the control of the postprandial glycaemic response, improving assimilation of the nutrients and also maintaining a healthy gut system.
Sugar mimetics have the capacity to inhibit the intestinal enzymes that break up sucrose and starch into absorbable glucose units. Bioglane, in 2011 was showing that D-fagomine effectively lowers the peak blood glucose level when taken together with sucrose or starch, without stimulating insulin release, and also may help to regulate intestinal microbiota in animal model ([British Journal of Nutrition 2012, 107, 1739–1746]. Since then several clinical studies have been started to evaluate the performance of this ingredient on different food matrix in humans.
Preliminary results were introduced in the last IFT12 conferences in Las Vegas where it was shown the results of the first exploratory study done in Spain “Two treatment randomized double-blind crossover study, with no replication in men (12 volunteers)” to evaluate the effects of 30 mg D-fagomine per 50 g sucrose serving. In this first study almost all individuals were responders (lowering the AUC 120`), there was a good acceptance of the ingredient and also, as expected there were not observed any relationship between D-fagomine and the insulin production, neither positive nor negative.
The next study has just finished in February 2013 and was done in U.K., where it was carried on a “Two treatment randomized double-blind crossover study, with each tested product replicated twice in 15 volunteers (men and women)” to quantify better the effect.
Results on the study confirm the use of 40 mg per 50 g sucrose serving is enough relevant to reduce the glucose peak (Cmax) a 36 percent average from the baseline. There was shown a relevant control of the glucose release in the first hour flattening the glucose curve and also enlarging the release of glucose in the second hour. The Area Under the Curve at 60 minutes was significantly reduced (p<0,001) a 26 percent average and the AUC120 was also significantly reduced (p<0,016 ) a 16 percent average.
In 2012 it was also developed specific research on the activity of D-fagomine in front of gut microbiota. The research was done in Hospital Vall d’Hebrón, the main hospital in Catalonia (Spain), together with Bioglane, confirming the previous finding that D-fagomine selectively inhibits the adhesion of E. coli with a dose-response effect in the gut. This activity might be considered a relevant strategy in the development of novel dietary ways to modulate gut microbiota reducing selectively some potentially pathogenic bacteria types.
The “ex-vivo” human tissue studies done in Vall d’Hebron Hospital also determine the possible influence of D-fagomine on the release of inflammatory mediators on a range of doses. Preliminary results were showing that a small presence of the glucose mimetic was able to help mucosa to respond in front of potentially pathogenic bacteria that were avoiding the immune system response without the presence of D-fagomine.
The nutritional concept on D-fagomine is just in the front of the research in functional sugars. D-fagomine is a glucose analog that is not-digestible and might be considered possible the more simple soluble fiber that may be present in the food chain. Usually present in human diet, delays the absorption of carbohydrates in the small intestine transferring these nutrients to the large intestine, helping to improve the correct assimilation of the food and maintaining a correct functionality of the digestive gut system.
The solubility, stability, versatility, and low cost impact on the use of D-fagomine permits the development of competitive palatant food proposals but maintaining the nutritional benefits related to the presence of fibers that are considered an essential nutritional element in any diet. D-fagomine is a nutritional ingredient chemically defined and with scientific studies supporting the nutritional claims. Its correct use in food may improve the consumer adherence to healthier diets and starts a new era in the scientific design and formulation of food, and mainly healthy food.