In resting subjects, blood glucose and serum insulin profiles are the same after consumption of any glucose syrup. Thus dextrose gives the same profiles as a 10 DE maltodextrin. This has been attributed to the fact that in such subjects absorption of dextrose through the gut wall is the limiting factor in the metabolism of a glucose syrup rather than the rate of hydrolysis in the gut.
In exercising subjects this may not be the case and athletes have been advised to take maltodextrin solution during periods of intense activity. It is thought that in these subjects the hydrolysis becomes the rate limiting step rather than the absorption and the glucose produced diffuses more slowly into the blood stream to provide a prolonged potential source of energy.
With babies, dextrose is known to induce diarrhea in some instances and is thus avoided in baby foods in high concentrations. Starch, on the other hand, is difficult for the baby to digest. The solution, therefore, is to use maltodextrin as the base for such products as these are relatively slowly digested by the baby and cause fewer digestive problems.