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Do sugar alcohols cause glycation

by (1300)
Updated about 12 hours ago
Created January 09, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Do sugar alcohols cause glycation as sugar does?

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12702 · January 09, 2013 at 10:39 PM

Maybe they don't glycate directly, but I thought activation of the polyol pathway (e.g. during metabolism of sorbitol) contributes to increased AGE's by lowering glutathione levels.

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41544 · January 09, 2013 at 8:59 PM

IIRC, sugar alcohols tend to be poorly absorbed in the gut (causing bowel issues in some folks at high doses), so there's even less chance there's glycation issues.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41544 · January 09, 2013 at 8:56 PM

You'd have to reoxidize the sugar alcohol to get back a reducing sugar. There's no enol in sugar alcohols, so you can't tautomerize them back to the carbonyl. I'm guessing that reoxidation is possible in the body, but it's a high energy process (which is why sugar alcohols have so much less energy per gram than carbohydrates).

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20908 · January 09, 2013 at 8:11 PM

remember though, keto-enol tautomerism shows that it trivial to convert between the ketone and the alcohol group. This is why I'm against sugar alcohols, in your body they will likely convert to the more stable ketone version and become sugar.

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3979 · January 09, 2013 at 7:50 PM

This is a good question. I've been wondering this since I realized that xylitol was making me crave carbs.

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1 Answers

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41544 · January 09, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Shouldn't. Glycation occurs because of the reactive aldehyde (glucose) or ketone (fructose) (carbon-oxygen double bond) present. Sugar alcohols have had this functionality reduced to the alcohol (hence the name).

do-sugar-alcohols-cause-glycation

do-sugar-alcohols-cause-glycation

do-sugar-alcohols-cause-glycation

Sorbitol (top) vs glucose (middle) vs fructose (bottom)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41544 · January 09, 2013 at 8:56 PM

You'd have to reoxidize the sugar alcohol to get back a reducing sugar. There's no enol in sugar alcohols, so you can't tautomerize them back to the carbonyl. I'm guessing that reoxidation is possible in the body, but it's a high energy process (which is why sugar alcohols have so much less energy per gram than carbohydrates).

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3
12702 · January 09, 2013 at 10:39 PM

Maybe they don't glycate directly, but I thought activation of the polyol pathway (e.g. during metabolism of sorbitol) contributes to increased AGE's by lowering glutathione levels.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73
20908 · January 09, 2013 at 8:11 PM

remember though, keto-enol tautomerism shows that it trivial to convert between the ketone and the alcohol group. This is why I'm against sugar alcohols, in your body they will likely convert to the more stable ketone version and become sugar.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41544 · January 09, 2013 at 8:59 PM

IIRC, sugar alcohols tend to be poorly absorbed in the gut (causing bowel issues in some folks at high doses), so there's even less chance there's glycation issues.

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