2016 Volume 62 Issue 6 Pages 380-387
We previously performed animal studies that suggested that trehalose potentially prevents the development of metabolic syndrome in humans. To evaluate this possibility, we examined whether trehalose suppressed the progression of insulin resistance in a placebo-controlled, double-blind trial in 34 subjects with a body mass index (BMI) ≥23. The subjects were divided into two groups and were assigned to ingest either 10 g/d of trehalose or sucrose with meals for 12 wk. During the study, body composition and blood biochemical parameters were measured at week 0, 8, and 12. These parameters were also measured 4 wk after the end of intake to confirm the washout of test substances. In the trehalose group, blood glucose concentrations after a 2-h oral glucose tolerance test significantly decreased following 12 wk of intake in comparison with baseline values (0 wk). When a stratified analysis was performed in the subjects whose percentage of truncal fat approached the high end of the normal range, the change in body weight, waist circumference, and systolic blood pressure were significantly lower in the trehalose group than in the sucrose group. Our data indicated that a daily intake of 10 g of trehalose improved glucose tolerance and progress to insulin resistance. Furthermore, these results suggested that trehalose can potentially reduce the development of metabolic syndrome and associated lifestyle-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.