Maltodextrin Side Effects

Maltodextrin is a sugar, specifically a polysaccharide that breaks down into glucose as it is digested, and so the most widespread maltodextrin side effects are the same as those associated with excessive sugar consumption, such as weight gain, obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

While maltodextrin consumption doesn’t cause these health problems by itself, it’s presence in the food we eat can contribute to them. Sugar consumption is at an all-time high in the standard American diet, and is increasing in other parts of the world as well. The addition of maltodextrin to processed foods is just one more way that additional sugar enters ours diets.

Individuals with diabetes, celiac disease, or allergies to particular starches should be wary regarding their consumption of maltodextrin. Dangers include insulin spikes and possible reactions to gluten or other substances that could be present in minute amounts in the food additive. If you have any of these ailments, it’s generally a good idea to avoid eating processed foods altogether.

There are many anecdotal reports online and elsewhere of people experiencing maltodextrin side effects, however, there are no peer-reviewed studies that specifically confirm maltodextrin intolerance or malabsorption. Since maltodextrin is a complex carbohydrate made up of chains of glucose, these people may be experiencing some type of carbohydrate intolerance or malabsorption, either of maltodextrin itself or of other carbohydrates, such as sorbitol, fructose, raffinose, or galactose, which can often be found in the same processed foods as maltodextrin.

Carbohydrate intolerance or malabsorption is common in infants and young children, but many adults also experience carbohydrate intolerance, with acquired lactose intolerance being the most common.

In any case, the symptoms experienced by those reporting side effects of maltodextrin consumption are similar to those of most carbohydrate intolerances and include.:

  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Hives
  • Rashes
  • Asthma

These types of reactions directly to maltodextrin are rare, and if you experience them, consult a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Perhaps the most common dangers are not in the consumption of maltodextrin itself, but in eating the kinds of foods that often contain it. Maltodextrin is added to a wide variety of processed foods as discussed in the article What is Maltodextrin? Basics, including many so-called health and diet foods. You will also find it on the list of ingredients in most “junk” foods, along with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and salt.

As a food additive, pure maltodextrin is designated “Generally Recognized as Safe,” by the FDA. You often see this designation abbreviated as GRAS. However, GRAS does not mean that maltodextrin is a healthy, nutritional addition to our food.

The easiest way to avoid any possible maltodextrin side effects is to eat a balanced diet of whole foods while avoiding any processed foods or artificial sugar substitutes.

12 Responses to “Maltodextrin Side Effects”

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  1. john says:

    Please tell me can this product cause gout.

    • malt01 says:

      Maltodextrin breaks down into glucose and is not a cause of gout. Foods to avoid are those high in purines, such as organ meats among others, that lead to an increase in uric acid. Recent studies have also suggested that high consumption of fructose can contribute to gout.

      • Agnes says:

        High fructose corn syrup certainly does cause gout. However, the FDA in their great wisdom have chosen to allow it in just about every processed food known to man. From pop drinks to tomato soup it’s everywhere. Want catsup? Only Hunts makes it without this hideous chemical and even they make two brands to please everybody. Learn to read labels you will be highly educated and more healthy….

  2. Dixit says:

    Can v eat maltodextrin along with wheat gluten
    For body building

  3. llan yort says:

    if I consume anything with maltodextrin, I get an explosive case of Diarrhea and my stomach makes loud noises. Like today, I purchased a chilled coffee product(At Walmart) called a Starbuck’s Hazelnut. Within 2 hours. BAM. But Ive also had the same reaction from Stofferrs Sugar Free turtles !!! I can repeat this “bam” explosion with any product with Maltodextrin. Its kindof scary. If you dont pay attention to the label. Caveat-Malto-Dextrium-Emptor!!!

  4. Marilyn Dungan says:

    I actually found maltodextrin in Walgreen’s feminine wipes. My question is, what is maltodextrin doing in feminine wipes, and if it is found in feminine wipes, how healthy can it be?

  5. Jose J. Rodriguez says:

    I have been drinking Welch’s grape juice with Maltodextrin because it’s advertised as a fiber. Yet in all the literature i have read, it doesn’t mentioned anything about it being a fiber. Is it a dietary fiber?

  6. Janette says:

    I get severe migraines that require injections to treat from maltodextrin and dextrose. I have to read ingredients carefully, and it seems about 90% of food (barring fresh) contain maltodextrin. It’s ridiculous. Why do pizza, lasagna, low calorie frozen dinners, French fries (French fries!) need sweetener?

  7. Kelly says:

    I get migraines that last for days and muscle spams that cause diarrhea. When my son was born he began to have the same problems if he ate any food containing this ingredient. I used to be able to eat processed foods until they started to put in this ingredient. It is not safe. I am sure it is making many people sick. It should be taken off the market. There are plenty of safe starches to use in food that are not highly processed like this one.

  8. Ashley says:

    I itch with hives and become bloated eating foods with maltodextrin. I also have a gluten intolerance v so I stay away from it too.

  9. Nicole Washko says:

    After suffering with IBS for almost 20 years I found recently that I am intolerant to maltodextrin. It’s been frustrating for Dr after Dr to tell me I need more fiber or need to be treated for anxiety and feel guilty that I can’t control my stomach. Now I read the labels on everything. It’s crazy how many things have maltodextrin in it! Why???

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