l-Arabinose is a natural, poorly absorbed pentose that selectively inhibits sucrase activity. A study has shown that sucrose mediates increases in lipogenic enzymes and triacylglycerol levels in rats. This effect can be prevented by the inclusion of L-arabinose with the sucrose. The relevance for humans remains to be fully evaluated. In the meantime a commercial product is being marketed in Japan that makes use of the concept. It is presented as a vial of coffee sweetener containing L-arabinose. This product may be the forerunner to a new generation of ingredients reducing the absorption of macronutrients and hence reducing net metabolizable energy.
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