Polydextrose is a carbohydrate and a nondigestible polysaccharide, used primarily as a sugar replacer. It has been studied for its effects on impaired glucose tolerance and childhood growth promotion. It has also been investigated for its potential laxative and lipid lowering effects. More high-quality human trials are needed.

Related Terms

[14C] polydextrose, carbohydrate, citric acid, dextrose polymer, dietary fiber, glucose, LitesseĀ®, oligosaccharide, polydextrose, polysaccharide, prebiotic, short-chain fatty acids, sorbitol, sugar substitute.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Childhood growth promotion (Grade: C)
Polydextrose has prebiotic activity and has generated interest in the food industry in the development of new "healthy" products. Additional research is needed in this area.
High blood sugar/glucose intolerance (Grade: C)
Preliminary studies have found that polydextrose did not inhibit glucose absorption and did not have a significant effect on glucagon or fatty acid levels in the blood. However, there was a significant decrease in blood glucose and insulin. High-quality human studies are needed in this area.
Laxative (Grade: C)
In early research, polydextrose has been found to soften stool consistency, decrease the transit time of food in the gastrointestinal tract, and improve the frequency and ease of defecation. Additional high-quality human studies are needed in this area.
Lipid lowering (cholesterol and triglycerides) (Grade: C)
In early research, polydextrose has been shown to have effects on triglyceride and cholesterol concentrations. Additional research is needed.
Weight loss (Grade: C)
Preliminary evidence suggests that polydextrose had a small effect on satiety (feeling full). High-quality human studies are needed in this area.