Alpha-cyclodextrin (αCD) is a bacterial product that is widely used as a food ingredient. In the EU, αCD is regulated as a “dietary fiber” with an authorized health claim that it contributes to the reduction of post-prandial glycemic responses. In the US αCD is GRAS (generally recognized as save), but the FDA recently rejected the inclusion of αCD in the list of “dietary fibers”, because “the strength of the scientific evidence does not support a finding of a beneficial effect of αCD on postprandial blood glucose …”. The meta-analysis presented here provides a review of studies conducted on the effect of αCD on the rise of blood glucose levels after consumption of ~50 g of starch.
These independent studies involved in the meta analysis prove that aCDs not only reduce the glucose spike after meals containing carbohydrates (the EU has already authorized a health claim for that), but that aCDs act without requiring an increase in insulin production. This suggests suggests that αCD acts independent of increasing insulin production. Hence, even people with insulin resistance, a (pre-)diabetic condition, can benefit.
It’s amazing that this has been overlooked for so long, starting with Buckley (2006) showing that aCD reduced postprandial glucose and insulin in blood.
Another important aspect is that it works immediately rather than taking a few weeks as the effect of aCD on body weight.
Knut M Wittkowski (2022) The effect of alpha-cyclodextrin on post-prandial glucose excursions, a systematic meta analysis. medRxiv 30. September