The Science

Mannan and the Glycemic Index

The active ingredient in BTI-320 is a mannan. BTI-320 is a non-systemic, non-toxic, chewable drug candidate for prevention of diabetes and its complications. BTI-320 inhibits the enzymes that release glucose from complex carbohydrates in foods during digestion, reducing the amount of available glucose absorbed through the intestine. BTI-320 is a proprietary fractionated mannan. Mannans are a group of plant-derived complex carbohydrates, or polysaccharides, which consist mainly of polymers of the sugar mannose. Some of the plants from which mannans are derived are guar, locust bean, fenugreek, barley and konjac. Published studies on mannans have shown that they possess significant biological activity ranging from inhibition of cholesterol absorption to promoting wound healing and inhibiting tumor growth. Studies have also shown that consuming mannan before a meal can lessen the rise in blood glucose after the meal. Therefore, supplementation with mannan may be beneficial in the management of diabetes by supporting healthy blood sugar levels.

The modified mannan in the BTI-320 chewable tablet works to lower the rise in post-meal blood glucose in several ways. First, it binds to long-chain starch polysaccharides in food and to the digestive enzymes that cleave these large sugars into glucose. Second, it temporarily coats the lumen of the small intestine to slow the absorption of glucose. Finally, BTI's mannan induces satiety, thereby facilitating portion control as a secondary benefit.  Together, these mechanisms of action lower the rate of absorption of glucose from the small intestine into the blood.

In a research effort to find out which foods are best in terms of blood sugar control for those with diabetes, the concept of the glycemic index, or GI, was developed at a leading university in Toronto, Canada in 1980. Foods containing carbohydrates that break down quickly and easily during digestion, and thus release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream, have a high GI; foods containing carbohydrates that break down more slowly resulting in a gradual release of glucose, have a low GI. A lower GI may also result in a lower insulin response and thereby, improves long-term blood glucose control in both healthy and diabetic individuals.

Based on the body of scientific evidence for the mechanisms of how mannans work, we have optimized the formulation of mannans in BTI-320 chewable tablets to slow down the post-meal digestion and absorption of glucose in order to moderate blood sugar levels. Therefore, the dietary addition of BTI-320 chewable tablets may effectively reduce the total glycemic load in a high glycemic meal and may aid in the control of blood glucose levels in people with diabetes and pre-diabetes, and others with metabolic syndrome.