Is Dextrose Bad for Your Health?

Medically Reviewed on 2/10/2021

Dextrose and health

The positive and negative effects of dextrose depend on an individual's overall health
The positive and negative effects of dextrose depend on an individual's overall health

The positive and negative effects of dextrose depend on an individual's overall health and their medical conditions. People with certain health conditions should be particularly careful with dextrose consumption. Dextrose is a normal sugar derived from corn. If it is consumed in large quantities, it can spike the body’s blood sugar levels and may increase the risk of several health conditions, such as:

  • Diabetes: People battling any type of diabetes should watch their dextrose intake. Dextrose may increase blood sugar levels and cause more problems. With a glycemic index of 100, dextrose is not safe for diabetics to use. The blood sugar level may go up instantly after taking dextrose, which may lead to several complications.
  • Heart diseases: People who have a history of heart ailments should be careful with their intake of dextrose and other forms of sugar. Popular research shows that there is a connection between heart diseases and sugar intake.
  • Kidney diseases: Intake of dextrose and other forms of sugar must be monitored carefully in people suffering from kidney-related ailments.
  • Weight gain: Excessive consumption may lead to a buildup of fat. This happens because the body metabolizes simple sugars instantly and stores them as fat when a person is eating more than what is required. This may contribute to obesity.
  • Too much dextrose intake regularly may lead to insulin resistance. In this condition, glucose stays in the bloodstream for too long. This happens because dextrose can increase the release of insulin, which may make a person feel tired and increase the risk of many diseases.
  • Apart from the above conditions, excess dextrose should be avoided in patients with depression, acne, and other skin conditions.
  • Excess consumption of dextrose may also lead to frequent urination and stomach pain/upset.
  • Patients who have swelling in arms, feet, or legs may also need to avoid dextrose.

Dextrose is beneficial for health when consumed in moderation. The benefits of dextrose are:

  • The cells in the body metabolize dextrose and keep the body active. Many bodybuilders rely on dextrose supplements to load their body up with enough carbs after a workout. This helps boost metabolism.
  • The body can store dextrose in the form of glycogen, which is converted into energy when the body is lacking the required energy. This helps maintain energy and ensures that the body functions optimally.
  • Dextrose is the brain fuel. It can help cope with fatigue just before an examination.

Dextrose is a fast-digesting sugar, which means that it helps replenish energy in a short time. Consuming it within half an hour of completing a workout will make the person feel active again.

  • Manufacturers of different products use dextrose to increase the shelf life of their products.
  • When used in baked goods, it helps them brown easily; when used in wines, it helps improve the fermentation process.
  • Dextrose can also be used to preserve certain foods in a better way because it is not as sweet as regular sugar.
  • Dextrose also has medicinal properties and is an ingredient used in solutions that are given intravenously. Combined with other drugs, it may help improve the blood sugar levels to provide an energy boost. However, this may reduce the level of sodium in the blood.

Summary: 

Dextrose is a type of sugar and like all sugars, it should be consumed moderately. There are no special dangers associated with dextrose outside of the risks associated with all sugars.

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Medically Reviewed on 2/10/2021
References
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dextrose. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/patient-education/dextrose-01