Maltodextrin Side Effects: Positive and Negative

maltodextrin side effects

Approved by the Food and Drug Administration, one of the notoriously strict committees formed and backed by the United States Government, maltodextrin is first and foremost a food additive.  Comprised of corn, rice, potatoes, or wheat, maltodextrin is a bland alternative to carbohydrate sources that happen to also be high in sugar.  Popular among physicians to prescribe to diabetes patients, maltodextrin allows people with blood sugar issues to enjoy carbohydrates without putting their systems at risk.

For us, maltodextrin can be used to enhance our post workout protein shakes.  Since we’re trying to enhance our muscles without gaining fat, maltodextrin can be leveraged to help us feel more content, staving off hunger, and ensuring that the protein shakes will be optimized by our bodies [1].  Consuming the correct amount of maltodextrin will actually help you gain muscle because your system will be able to put the other supplements and proteins to good use knowing that the maltodextrin is there to feed off of, preventing supplementation waste in the form of fat deposits.  Body builders, athletes, and fitness freaks all around the world have been using maltodextrin to maximize their protein shakes for years.  Some of the stuff out in the marketplace might already have some maltodextrin blended in to the mix, which is why it’s super important to understand exactly what goes in to those “blend” ingredients listed in the nutrition facts label on your products.

Negative Side Effects of Maltodextrin

Though maltodextrin is comprised of 100% natural ingredients, it is a seriously processed compound.  Nothing in maltodextrin itself is synthetic but the processes used to extract it from the ingredients used can make it so that we experience some negative side effects.  As with most of the supplements we talk about, maltodextrin has very few negative side effects and 99% of you would never experience them.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of them and since we believe in full disclosure here at Vaxxen, let’s take a look at a list of the potential side effects known to be caused by maltodextrin ingestion.

  • Increased lactic acid levels. Human bodies have been known to convert small portions of the maltodextrin to lactic acid.  If you recall, lactic acid is what builds up in your muscles when you work out, leading to that familiar “burning” sensation and fatigue [2].
  • Crohn’s disease odds increase. As it turns out, a study was completed in 2012 proving out the correlation between maltodextrin dosing and increased chances of developing Crohn’s disease.  It is worth noting that Crohn’s disease isn’t as horrible as it sounds.  There is a good chance you know somebody who has it and you’d never be able to tell [3].

Good Side Effects of Maltodextrin

Not all of the side effects are bad!  Sometimes scientists unintentionally discover beneficial properties of substances like maltodextrin.  That’s exactly what happened in 2014.  A study was released showing the elevated salmonella survival rates for subjects dosed with maltodextrin.  Another study showed that maltodextrin can be used in the creation of certain antibiotics, providing alternatives to prescribers around the world [4].


  1. Mahdi Khorshidi-Hosseini, MScB,C,D,F,G and Babak Nakhostin-Roohi, PhD*,A,C,D,E,G
    Effect of Glutamine and Maltodextrin Acute Supplementation on Anaerobic Power
    Asian J Sports Med. 2013 Jun; 4(2): 131–136.
    Published online 2013 Feb 13.
  2. Denise L. Hofman, a , * Vincent J. van Buul, b and Fred J. P. H. Brouns a
    Nutrition, Health, and Regulatory Aspects of Digestible Maltodextrins
    Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2016 Sep 9; 56(12): 2091–2100.
    Published online 2015 Feb 12. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2014.940415
  3. Nickerson KP1, McDonald C.
    Crohn’s disease-associated adherent-invasive Escherichia coli adhesion is enhanced by exposure to the ubiquitous dietary polysaccharide maltodextrin.
    PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e52132. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052132. Epub 2012 Dec 12.
  4. Nickerson KP1, Homer CR2, Kessler SP2, Dixon LJ2, Kabi A2, Gordon IO3, Johnson EE4, de la Motte CA1, McDonald C1.
    The dietary polysaccharide maltodextrin promotes Salmonella survival and mucosal colonization in mice.
    PLoS One. 2014 Jul 7;9(7):e101789. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101789. eCollection 2014.
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