2020 Volume 67 Issue 1 Pages 1-9
We examined the in vitro digestibility of maltobionic acid, obtained from enzymatic oxidation of maltose, its utilization by intestinal bacteria, and its biological effects on the bowel movements in healthy subjects. We found that maltobionic acid is not digested in vitro by saliva, gastric juice, or pancreatic juice. Moreover, it is digested only to a small extent by small intestinal enzymes. Among the 24 strains of intestinal bacteria, maltobionic acid was selectively utilized by Bifidobacterium dentium and Bi. adolescentis. We also evaluated the influence of long-term ingestion of maltobionic acid calcium salt on bowel movements in healthy Japanese women by a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. Thirty-four subjects completed the study, and no adverse events related to the test food were observed. Ten subjects were excluded prior to the efficacy analysis because of conflict with the control criteria; the remaining 24 subjects were analyzed. Intake of test food containing 4 g maltobionic acid for 4 weeks caused a significant increase in the stool frequency, significant improvement in stool form scale and CAS-MT total scores as compared with the placebo group. These results suggest that maltobionic acid is an indigestible carbohydrate and is a promising therapeutic agent for improving the intestinal environment.