Reducose is not a sugar replacement, but is rather a functional food ingredient that helps turn fast carbs and sugars into slow ones. Carbohydrates, also called saccharides, are a group of biological molecules that includes sugars, starch and cellulose. The simplest carbohydrate unit is called a monosaccharide and includes molecules like glucose and fructose. Monosaccharides are the building block for more complex carbohydrates, which are classified as disaccharides (sugars), oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides (includes starch).
Carbohydrates bigger than monosaccharides are too large to be directly absorbed by the body and during digestion are broken down into monosaccharides such as glucose or fructose by enzymes. This breakdown starts in the mouth with salivary amylase. After swallowing the salivary amylase is inactivated by stomach acid and so the breakdown continues after food leaves the stomach in the small intestine. Several different enzymes are involved in this breakdown including pancreatic amylase, which breaks polysaccharides like starch into disaccharides, enzymes such as sucrase and alpha-glucosidase that break disaccharides into monosaccharides for absorption. Many foods are capable of inhibiting these enzymes, with mulberry leaves being a good example. Reducose is an extract of mulberry leaves and is able to inhibit these enzymes such that the carbohydrate chains remain unbroken and so fewer glucose molecules are able to get into the body. This allows people to enjoy their favourite foods and maintain blood glucose levels within a healthy range.