Gamma-Cyclodextrin Lowers Postprandial Glycemia and Insulinemia without Carbohydrate Malabsorption in Healthy Adults

Michelle L. Asp, Steven R. Hertzler, Jomay Chow, Bryan W. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: Preliminary in vitro and animal studies have shown that gamma-cyclodextrin (GCD) is a slowly and completely digestible carbohydrate. The objective of this study was to determine the glycemic and insulinemic responses to GCD in humans. Breath hydrogen excretion was measured simultaneously to evaluate carbohydrate malabsorption. Methods: Healthy adult subjects (N = 32) received 50 g of carbohydrate from GCD or a rapidly digested maltodextrin (MD) in a double-masked, randomized, crossover design. Plasma glucose (fingerstick) and serum insulin (venous) concentrations were measured at baseline and at 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 min postprandially. Breath hydrogen excretion was monitored hourly for 8 h postprandially. The severity of gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, cramping, distension, flatulence) was rated by the subjects on a ranked scale for two 24-h periods postprandially. Results: The mean baseline-adjusted peak plasma glucose concentration was 47% lower (P < 0.001), and the mean baseline-adjusted peak serum insulin concentration was decreased by 45% (P < 0.001) after subjects consumed GCD compared with MD. Positive incremental area under the curve (0–120 min) was reduced 45% for plasma glucose and 49% for serum insulin by GCD compared with MD (P < 0.001 in each case). There were no differences between GCD and MD in the proportion of positive breath hydrogen tests and both carbohydrates were equally well tolerated. Conclusions: GCD effectively lowers postprandial glycemia and insulinemia compared with MD, without resulting in appreciable carbohydrate malabsorption or gastrointestinal intolerance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-55
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2006


  • Breath hydrogen
  • Gamma-cyclodextrin
  • Glycemia
  • Insulinemia


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