Everything you need to know about dextrose

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Dextrose is a type of sugar that comes from corn. It has a wide variety of uses, including as a sweetener in many foods and as a medical treatment for low blood sugar and dehydration. In this article, learn about the uses of dextrose in food and medicine. We also cover the possible side effects.

Dextrose is a type of simple sugar made from corn. It is similar to fructose and chemically identical to glucose, which is blood sugar.

Simple sugars, including dextrose, fructose, and glucose, appear in foods such as table sugar, honey, and bread.

Dextrose often appears in foods as an artificial sweetener and ingredients such as fructose corn syrup.

Doctors may use this simple sugar to raise a person’s blood sugar when it is too low.

They may also combine dextrose with other substances if giving it as an injection.

What is dextrose?

Dextrose is a type of simple sugar made from corn. It is similar to fructose and chemically identical to glucose, which is blood sugar.

Simple sugars, including dextrose, fructose, and glucose, appear in foods such as table sugar, honey, and bread.

Dextrose often appears in foods as an artificial sweetener and ingredients such as fructose corn syrup.

Doctors may use this simple sugar to raise a person’s blood sugar when it is too low.

They may also combine dextrose with other substances if giving it as an injection.

Is dextrose good or bad for you?

The body breaks down simple sugars very quickly to use them for energy. If someone consumes too much simple sugar, the body will store any extra as fat.

While the body does need some simple sugars for energy, consuming too much can lead to increased risk of the following:

Even so, there are times when using dextrose benefits an individual more than it harms.

Uses in medicine

Doctors use dextrose for a variety of reasons, including :

  • to quickly treat low blood sugar
  • to treat dehydration
  • to provide nutrition in combination with amino acids and other substances

Doctors may recommend that a person with diabetes or who is otherwise prone to episodes of low blood sugar carries dextrose tablets with them.

These tablets dissolve quickly when in a person’s mouth, allowing the body to absorb the dextrose.

Once a person with low blood sugar takes a dextrose tablet, their blood sugar will rapidly return to healthy levels.

Doctors can also combine dextrose with many other liquids to make an intravenous solution.

For example, they may combine dextrose with a saline solution to create a rehydration drip for someone with dehydration.

Some medical problems may make a person unable to eat or unable to absorb nutrients. This can lead to malnourishment.

In cases of malnourishment, doctors may decide to feed a person through a central venous catheter, which is a tube inserted into a large vein.

They may choose total parenteral nutrition (TPN) or partial parenteral nutrition (PPN), using solutions that contain dextrose.

TPN fulfills all a person’s nutritional needs, while PPN supplements a person’s nutritional intake.

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