Loss on drying:
Solubility in water:
C7 H14 O6
White to off-white fine-crystalline powder
179 – 185 ºC
only slightly sweet, no distinct side- or aftertaste
stable under normal processing and storage conditions of foods and dietary supplements, no indications for undesired reactions or interactions with other food constituents or ingredients of dietary supplements
Pinitol is a naturally occurring substance. It belongs to the group of inositols. They are a class of compounds which consist of nine distinct isomers. Inositols resemble six-member ring simple sugars (i.e. glucose) but are not sugars but cyclic sugar alcohols.
Inositols are, like simple sugars, a part of the regular human diet and as shown by the available evidence also non-toxic. Pinitol differs from other inositols in that it contains a methyl ether group. Research has shown that pinitol has distinct bioactivity which differentiates it from other inositols.
Pinitol is found in certain legumes (e.g. soy), several other plants and fruits and in pine tree parts. Chemically, it is defined as inositol. The best source of pinitol is the husks of the carob tree pods (Ceratonia siliqua L.). The carob tree is resistant to unfavourable environmental conditions and does not normally require special treatments like intense farming or application of pesticides.
In the human body, pinitol is partly converted into D-chiro-inositol and partly excreted unchanged.
Pinitol and glucose metabolism and diabetes
The hormone insulin is a crucial substance for the control of metabolism of glucose (blood sugar) in the body. Low insulin levels result in diabetes mellitus disease. Insufficient treatment of diabetes can cause different types of severe long-term damage to several parts of the human body.
Since 1987 numerous studies in animals and also humans showed that d-pinitol could exert an insulin-like effect to improve glycaemic control. They suggest that there is a synergy between pinitol and insulin at sub-maximal concentrations, but this is not evident with glucose transport. It seems that no further effect of pinitol exists when maximal insulin concentrations are present. It is, however, unlikely that hypoglycemia would result from the administration of pinitol.
Chiro-inositol to what pinitol is metabolised to seems to be the key substance for the positive effects as type-2 diabetics have a higher excretion of this substance. Compared to healthy persons, they have a deficient level of this compound or lack of it altogether. The insulin sensitivity in humans is inversely correlated to the excretion of chiro-inositol.
Some studies indicate positive effects on long-term damages caused by diabetes like eye problems.
Pinitol and creatine retention
Higher creatine retention in the muscles improves training adaption and, by higher conversion of glucose into its storage form glycogen, also endurance. A simultaneous intake of creatine could achieve this, and large amounts of glucose (e. g. more than 35 g) or glucose and protein (ca. 50 g each) as the resulting insulin secretion improves creatine absorption and retention. Such combined intake leads to significant, but often undesired additional calorie intake. Pinitol supplementation at low doses (up to 1 g per day) during creatine loading or preferably as a pre-load before creatine intake appears to augment creatine absorption and retention similarly. Higher doses are not as effective. This insulin-resembling effect can promote the building of muscular mass in the body. It does, however, not stimulate the growth of muscular mass beyond the natural limits, and it has no anabolic effects. Therefore pinitol can play a valuable role in sports nutrition.
In several mutagenicity studies, pinitol was non-mutagenic even at high concentrations.
The acute toxicity of pinitol is low. Administration to animals for 28 days did not show adverse effects. Humans well tolerate single doses of several grams.
Long-term pinitol ingestion by humans from different plants or foods which contain pinitol (like soybeans or carob pods) has not shown adverse effects. In countries with high consumption of soybeans, daily doses of pinitol (250 – 300 mg per day) seem familiar. Neither have adverse effects been reported from human studies with pinitol of more than 1 g per person per day for several weeks. No undesired effects like flatulence, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, allergic or hypersensitivity effects were reported. Based on the historical evidence, it can reasonably be concluded that the intake of a reasonable amount of pinitol is safe.
Pinitol is consumed for its physiological effects and therefore generally classified as a food and not as a food additive.
In the EU, pinitol has been consumed as part of the regular diet by consumption of carob and soy products for decades if not centuries. Only consumption of well-exceeding levels the intake from these sources may require an examination of whether the specific use has to be authorised. Health claims have to be approved by the EU under conditions outlined in Regulation 1924/2006/EC, especially art. 13 and 14.
In the USA pinitol from pine trees has been accepted as a new ingredient for dietary supplements. Use of carob pinitol would require a respective approach.
FDA´s consent should be, based on the identical structure and at least the same degree of purity, obtainable. Any claims on pinitol functions have to be based on scientific evidence and to be accompanied by the following statement: “The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated this statement. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease”.
Any claim referring to treatment or cure of a disease makes a product a pharmaceutical which would require authorisation under pharmaceuticals legislation.
In Japan, pinitol-containing products would be qualified by FOSHU (Food for Specified Health Uses) responsible for the approval provided that the general requirements effectiveness, safety, appropriate ingredients and adequate quality control are met.
Euronutra is prepared to assist its customers in obtaining the necessary authorisations for their products.
High-quality, healthy solutions demand sustainability
Sustainable ingredients are the only way that works for Euronutra. For that, our company works in a long-term basis with local agents and research centres are always seeking for the best raw materials improving the impact in the harvesting, manufacturing trying to improve the lives of all the actors involved in the circle of the product till the final consumers.
Carob is harvested in Spain that grows on non-irrigated trees without the use of pesticides or fertilizers.
Looking for the best varieties, lands and people has taken dozens of years, but it gives us a sustainable raw material, supplier and better planet for the next generations.
Using water-soluble technologies and next-generation gentle technologies minimizes the impact that industrial activities currently has.