Dr. Becky Maes - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Becky Maes

Is Dextrose Bad For You?

Also Known As: D-Glucose



Short answer

Dextrose is a sugar and like all sugars should be consumed moderately. There are no special dangers associated with dextrose outside of the risks associated with all sugars.



Long answer

Dextrose is a saccharine extract taken from corn with a chemical composition exactly that of glucose (more commonly referred to as "blood sugar"). It is a fast-acting substance used commonly in the food industry as a sweetener and in medicine as a key ingredient to intravenous solutions. In food, dextrose moves quickly to the muscles to provide nutrients. Dextrose used in intravenous solutions is to get a patient's blood sugar level back to normal (the name dextrose refers to the origin, once it is in the blood it becomes "glucose").

There are several possible side effects associated with taking glucose with most centering around people who have sugar-related health issues (such as diabetics or people with hyperglycemia) or women who are pregnant or nursing. As with all sugar-based substances, dextrose should not be used too often as there is a positive link between high use of sugar (in any form) and heart disease.

Dextrose is an excellent source of carbohydrates and for this reason, can help after a work-out or other physically demanding task. Taken in moderate amounts, dextrose can give or replenish much-needed energy. If taken in large quantities (or quantities larger than what is safe for you), dextrose can have serious effects. It is strongly recommended that people with certain conditions, including diabetes, hyperglycemia, hypokalemia and edema do not put dextrose into their bodies.

Possible short-term side effects

  • infection (if injected)
  • swelling (if injected)
  • severe allergic reaction
  • confusion
  • headache

Possible long-term side effects

  • heart disease
  • increased blood sugar
  • hypoglycemia
  • hyperglycemia
  • increased fat storage

Commonly found in

  • candy
  • sodas
  • sports drinks
  • honey
  • corn syrups
  • starchy foods


  • source of carbs
  • helps stabilize glucose levels
  • boosts energy

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Rachel Adams
Published on: 12-28-2015
Last updated: 12-10-2016

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Rachel Adams
Published on: 12-28-2015
Last updated: 12-10-2016

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