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Expert opinion on investigational drugs

Tagatose: from a sweetener to a new diabetic medication?


PMID 20050825

Abstract

Tagatose is a naturally occurring simple sugar that is a more palatable bulk low-calorie (1.5 kcal/g) sweetener. It was approved as a food additive by the FDA in 2003. Tagatose has been studied as a potential antidiabetic and antiobesity medication. In preliminary studies in humans, tagatose has shown a low postprandial blood glucose and insulin response. Its proposed mechanism of action may involve interference in the absorption of carbohydrates by inhibiting intestinal disaccharidases and glucose transport. It may also act through hepatic inhibition of glycogenolysis. This article summarizes tagatose Phase I and II diabetes trials. It describes the pharmacodynamics and possible mechanism of action of this agent. Literature from 1974 to 2009 is reviewed. Better understanding of the implications of postprandial hyperglycemia. An appreciation of the liver as a target of glucose control. Increased awareness of tagatose, a sweetener, as a potential new medication that operates through improvement of postprandial hyperglycemia. Tagatose is currently being studied as a postprandial antihyperglycemic agent that may be safer with regard to hypoglycemia. Ongoing Phase III clinical trials will provide more definitive answers.

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T2751
D-(−)-Tagatose, ≥98.5%
C6H12O6