Cornstarch is a carbohydrate derived from corn, used widely in cooking and baking as a thickening agent for sauces, gravies, and soups. It’s composed of a long chain of glucose units, which, when ingested in its uncooked form, is broken down slowly into glucose, gradually raising blood sugar levels. This characteristic makes it a valuable tool in managing certain conditions like hypoglycemia.
In the context of treating hypoglycemia (ketotic or regular), especially in conditions like Glycogen Storage Disease (GSD), cornstarch acts as a glucose/carbohydrate reservoir. The slow metabolic conversion of cornstarch to glucose provides a sustained release of energy, preventing the rapid drops in the blood sugar that can be dangerous in hypoglycemic conditions.
Uncooked cornstarch, especially a modified version known as “extended-release cornstarch” is often utilized in medical nutritional therapy. It is administered throughout the day to maintain blood glucose, thereby aiming to prevent the onset of hypoglycemia. It’s crucial to note that the use of cornstarch as a therapeutic agent should be under the guidance of healthcare professionals to ensure appropriate dosing and monitoring.