Allulose: A Sweet Alternative to Ozempic?

Allulose: A Sweet Alternative to Ozempic?

Semaglutide, otherwise known as Ozempic, has taken the internet by storm for its purported weight loss benefits. Originally however, it was originally developed to treat type two diabetes by mimicking the action of a hormone called glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1).

While weight management is surely a good thing, like many pharmaceuticals, Ozempic has a variety of negative side effects including constipation, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, hypoglycemia, dysphagia, thyroid cancer, gallstones, and “Olympic face,” to name a few of the MANY. T

here are several GLP-1 agonists available pharmacologically, but what if there was a way to get a GLP-1 agonist without needing an injectable drug or getting the side effects. That is where the sugar allulose comes into play. Here we will do a quick dive into this wonderful little sugar, starting with an overview of what GLP-1 is, what GLP-1 agonists are, and then covering the benefits, applications, and use of allulose!

What Is GLP-1?

Before we talk about allulose however, we need to talk GLP-1. GLP-1 is a hormone that plays a critical role in the regulation of glucose metabolism and appetite. It is a part of the incretin family of hormones, which are released from the gut in response to food intake.

  • Enhancement of Insulin Secretion: GLP-1 stimulates the pancreas to release insulin in response to elevated blood glucose levels, helping to lower blood sugar.
  • Inhibition of Glucagon Secretion: It suppresses the secretion of glucagon, a hormone that increases blood glucose levels by promoting the release of glucose from the liver.
  • Slowing of Gastric Emptying: GLP-1 slows down the emptying of the stomach, which helps to regulate the rate at which glucose enters the bloodstream.
  • Promotion of Satiety: It acts on the brain to promote a feeling of fullness, thereby reducing food intake.

Clinical Relevance

  • Type 2 Diabetes: GLP-1 analogs and agonists (such as exenatide and liraglutide) are used as therapeutic agents to improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Weight Management: Due to its role in promoting satiety and reducing food intake, GLP-1-based therapies are also being explored for weight management and obesity treatment.

Mechanism of Action

GLP-1 is produced in the intestines, primarily by the L-cells in the ileum and colon, and is released in response to nutrient ingestion. It binds to the GLP-1 receptor, which is expressed in various tissues, including the pancreas, stomach, heart, and brain, mediating its diverse physiological effects.

What are GLP-1 Agonists?

GLP-1 agonists are a class of medications that mimic the action of the naturally occurring hormone GLP-1. These drugs bind to the GLP-1 receptor and activate it, thereby enhancing the effects of GLP-1 in the body.

GLP-1 agonists work by stimulating the GLP-1 receptors, which leads to several beneficial effects, particularly in the management of type 2 diabetes and obesity:

  • Increased Insulin Secretion: They enhance the secretion of insulin from the pancreas in response to food intake, helping to lower blood sugar levels.
  • Reduced Glucagon Secretion: These drugs inhibit the release of glucagon, a hormone that raises blood glucose levels by promoting the release of glucose from the liver.
  • Slowed Gastric Emptying: GLP-1 agonists slow down the rate at which the stomach empties its contents into the small intestine, which helps to control the rate of glucose absorption into the bloodstream.
  • Increased Satiety: They promote a feeling of fullness, which can help reduce food intake and support weight loss.

Some well-known GLP-1 agonists include:

  • Exenatide (Byetta, Bydureon): One of the first GLP-1 agonists, available as a twice-daily or once-weekly injection.
  • Liraglutide (Victoza, Saxenda): Administered once daily, also approved for weight management.
  • Dulaglutide (Trulicity): A once-weekly injection.
  • Semaglutide (Ozempic, Rybelsus): Available as a once-weekly injection or a daily oral tablet.
  • Albiglutide (Tanzeum): Administered once weekly (though it has been discontinued in some markets).

What Is Allulose?

Allulose is a low-calorie sweetener that belongs to a class of sugars known as "rare sugars." It is found naturally in small quantities in certain foods such as wheat, figs, raisins, jackfruit or synthesized in a lab from glucose or fructose. Chemically, it is a monosaccharide with a similar structure to fructose but with distinct metabolic properties.




  • Low Caloric Value: Allulose provides approximately 0.2 to 0.4 calories per gram, which is about 5-10% of the calories provided by table sugar (sucrose).
  • Sweetness: It has about 70% of the sweetness of sugar, making it a suitable alternative for reducing sugar content in foods and beverages while maintaining a sweet taste.
  • Glycemic Impact: Allulose has a negligible effect on blood glucose and insulin levels, making it a favorable sweetener for individuals with diabetes or those following a low-carb diet.

Some of the proposed benefits

  • Low Glycemic Index: Allulose does not significantly raise blood glucose or insulin levels, which can be beneficial for managing diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
  • Low-Calorie: It provides fewer calories compared to regular sugar, aiding in weight management and calorie control.
  • Dental Health: Unlike regular sugar, allulose does not contribute to tooth decay, making it a tooth-friendly sweetener.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recognized allulose as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). It is considered safe for consumption based on current scientific evidence.

Allulose is used in various food and beverage products as a sugar substitute in baking, beverages, sauces and dressings, making it an incredibly useful tool for individuals on low carb diets.

Unlike other sugars, allulose is not fully absorbed by the body. Most of it is excreted unchanged in the urine, which accounts for its low-calorie profile and minimal impact on blood sugar levels.


Allulose and GLP-1: Potential Interactions

Emerging research suggests that allulose may influence the secretion of GLP-1, thereby enhancing its beneficial effects on glucose metabolism and appetite regulation. Some studies indicate that allulose can increase the secretion of GLP-1 in the gut, similar to other dietary fibers and certain sugars. An increase in GLP-1 levels can improve insulin response and glycemic control.

By increasing GLP-1 secretion, allulose may help promote satiety and reduce overall food intake. This effect can be particularly beneficial for weight management and obesity prevention. The ability of allulose to potentially increase GLP-1 secretion makes it an effective tool for appetite regulation, helping individuals feel fuller for longer and thus consuming fewer calories.

The combined effects of allulose and GLP-1 on glucose metabolism can help in better managing blood sugar levels, making allulose a valuable addition to the diet for individuals with diabetes or metabolic syndrome. By improving insulin response and glycemic control, allulose can aid in the overall management of metabolic health, offering a dual benefit of blood sugar regulation and weight management.

To summarize things, while pharmaceuticals like semaglutide (Ozempic) have shown significant promise in weight management and glucose regulation, they come with a range of potential side effects.

Allulose, a naturally occurring rare sugar, offers a compelling alternative. Emerging research indicates that allulose may influence GLP-1 secretion, which enhances its beneficial effects on glucose metabolism and appetite regulation. By potentially increasing GLP-1 levels, allulose can help promote satiety and reduce overall food intake, making it particularly beneficial for weight management and obesity prevention.

Furthermore, the combined effects of allulose and GLP-1 on glucose metabolism can aid in better managing blood sugar levels, making allulose a valuable addition to the diet for individuals with diabetes or metabolic syndrome. As we continue to explore the health benefits of allulose, it holds promise as a natural, low-calorie sweetener that supports both metabolic health and weight management without the adverse effects associated with some pharmaceuticals.

At Keto Brainz, we've been loving RxSugar Allulose for all of our keto baking needs. RxSugar also has wonderful new treat called Swealthy Snax that have become our go-to for keto friendly treats with benefits!

For a brilliant deep dive on the GLP-1 properties of Allulose, check out these videos from Nick Norwitz, PhD: 

Allulose: Healthiest Sugar in the World


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