Allulose tastes similar to sugar and may have some health benefits. It appears to be safe to eat in moderation, but more research is needed.
Allulose is a relatively new sweetener on the market.
It supposedly has the taste and texture of sugar but contains minimal calories and carbs. Additionally, early studies suggest it may provide some health benefits.
However, as with any sugar substitute, there may be concerns about its safety and health effects with long-term use.
This article takes a detailed look at allulose and whether including it in your diet is a good idea.
Allulose is also known as D-psicose. It is classified as a rare sugar because it is naturally present in only a few foods. Wheat, figs, and molasses all contain it (
Some people describe allulose as having a similar taste and texture to table sugar. It is about 70% as sweet as sugar, which is similar to the sweetness of erythritol, another popular sweetener (
Like glucose and fructose, allulose is a monosaccharide, or single sugar. In contrast, table sugar, also known as sucrose, is a disaccharide made of glucose and fructose joined together.
In fact, allulose has the same chemical formula as fructose but is arranged differently. This difference in structure prevents your body from processing allulose the way it processes fructose.
Although around 70% of the allulose you consume is absorbed into your blood through your digestive tract, it leaves your body via your urine, without being used as fuel (
Allulose also provides only 0.2–0.4 calories per gram (g), or about 1/10 the calories of table sugar (
Here’s some helpful information for people who have diabetes or are monitoring their blood sugar for another reason: Allulose does not appear to raise blood sugar or insulin levels.
In addition, early research suggests that allulose has anti-inflammatory properties and may help prevent obesity and reduce the risk of chronic disease (
Although some foods contain small amounts of this rare sugar, manufacturers have also used enzymes to convert fructose into allulose in recent years (
Summary: Allulose is a rare sugar with the same chemical formula as fructose. Because your body does not metabolize it, allulose does not seem to raise blood sugar or insulin levels and provides minimal calories.
Allulose may turn out to be a powerful tool for managing diabetes.
Several animal studies have found that it may lower blood sugar, increase insulin sensitivity, and decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes by protecting the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas (
In a study comparing the effects of consuming allulose, cellulose, and a commercial diet in rats with insulin resistance, the allulose group had improved insulin sensitivity after 7 weeks (6).
Early research also suggests that allulose may have beneficial effects on blood sugar regulation in humans (8).
In one study, 30 participants without diabetes received a 50-g dose of sucrose followed by either a placebo or allulose.
The allulose group experienced significantly lower blood sugar levels after 30 minutes than the placebo group, though this difference was not maintained at later time points (8).
Although research is limited and more studies in people with diabetes and prediabetes are needed, the evidence to date is encouraging.
Summary: Animal and human studies suggest that allulose may lower blood sugar levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and help protect the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells.
Some research suggests that allulose may help increase the loss of fat, including unhealthy belly fat, which is also known as visceral fat. This type of fat is strongly linked to heart disease and some other health conditions (9, 10).
In a study of 121 Korean adults, participants took 4 g or 7 g of allulose or a placebo twice per day for 12 weeks. The group taking the larger amount of allulose showed a significant decrease in body fat percentage and mass, including abdominal fat (9).
Another small study of 13 healthy adults found that taking 5 g of allulose before a meal appeared to lead to improved energy metabolism after they ate, which could help manage body weight (10).
Still, more studies in humans are necessary before conclusions can be made.
Summary: Some studies indicate that allulose may increase fat burning and help prevent obesity. However, more research in humans is needed.
Studies in rats and mice have found that, in addition to preventing weight gain, allulose seems to reduce fat storage in the liver (11,
Hepatic steatosis, more commonly known as fatty liver, is strongly linked to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
In one study, mice with leptin deficiency and obesity were given allulose and showed lower total fat mass and liver fat after 15 weeks. These changes occurred without exercise or restrictive diets (
At the same time as allulose may promote fat loss in the liver and body, it may protect against muscle loss.
In the same study of mice with obesity, allulose significantly decreased liver and belly fat and appeared to prevent the loss of lean mass (
Additionally, a small study with 90 human participants found that taking allulose for 48 weeks improved fatty liver scores (13).
Although these results are promising, more controlled human studies need to be done.
Summary: Research in mice and humans has found that allulose may reduce the risk of fatty liver disease. However, available studies on the subject are limited.
Allulose appears to be a safe sweetener, though more research is needed.
It has been added to the list of foods generally recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration. However, it is not yet allowed to be sold in Europe.
A 12-week study in allulose-fed dogs found no toxicity or other health problems related to the sweetener (14).
In the previously mentioned 90-person study, doses of 5–15 g (1–3 teaspoons) per day for up to 48 weeks were not associated with any negative effects.
In fact, the research found several health benefits, including improvements in fatty liver and the body’s ability to process glucose (13).
Still, the results are not completely positive. A test tube study on mouse cells suggests that allulose may be linked to muscle cell injury under simulated exercise conditions (15).
It’s unclear whether these findings would apply to people.
So far, allulose appears safe and is unlikely to cause health problems when consumed in moderation. However, as with any food, individual sensitivities are always a possibility.
Summary: Research is limited, but both animal and human studies have found few health risks related to this sweetener.
What are the dangers of allulose?
Several studies so far have indicated that allulose is likely safe when consumed in moderation. Still, some research has suggested downsides of allulose in certain situations, such as a potential link to muscle cell injury with exercise.
More studies are necessary to find out more about the positive and negative effects of allulose.
What is allulose made from?
Allulose naturally occurs in a few foods. However, commercial allulose is made by converting fructose, which is found in corn and other plants, to allulose.
Is allulose a fake sugar?
Allulose naturally occurs in small amounts in foods such as figs, molasses, and raisins.
Is allulose the same as stevia?
Allulose and stevia are both low calorie sweeteners, but they’re not the same. Stevia is an extract from the plant Stevia rebaudiana. Allulose is a sugar that occurs naturally in some foods, including figs and wheat, but it can also be made from fructose as a commercial food product.
Allulose offers a taste and texture similar to those of table sugar and contains minimal calories.
Right now there are only a few high quality human studies on the effects of allulose, but the sweetener appears to be safe when consumed in moderation.
You can find allulose in certain brands of snack bars, such as Quest Nutrition and SOBAR. Granulated allulose is also available online, though it costs more than other sweeteners.
Until more high quality research is available on its health benefits, it may be best to use allulose occasionally or alongside less expensive sweeteners.