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Diabetics May Soon Have Low-Sugar Vegetable Juice

Chinese scientists used bacteria to strip the drink of carbs

THURSDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- Chinese scientists say they've developed a low-calorie, low-sugar vegetable juice for diabetics and people with high blood sugar.

They said it uses lactic acid-producing bacteria (LAB) to remove carbohydrates while retaining the juice's good taste, vitamins and other nutrients. LAB, also known as probiotics, are used to make common products such as yogurt and cheeses.

"The process significantly removes sugar but retains the nutritional content of the juice's raw materials," Xiuqi Liu, of Jilin University in Changchun, said in an American Chemical Society news release.

Liu and colleague Heqin Xing found that LAB-induced fermentation reduced sugar content in the vegetable juice by changing carbohydrates into lactic acid. The increased acidity of the juice inhibits the growth of other bacteria, which extends the shelf life of the juice. LAB are better able than other microorganisms to withstand acidic environments, the researchers said.

After a few more tests, the sweet-and-sour tasting drink could be on the market within a year, said the researchers, who were to present details about the drink Thursday at the American Chemical Society anual meeting, in Salt Lake City.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about eating and diabetes.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Chemical Society, news release, March 26, 2009

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