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News

Fructose and lactose intolerance and malabsorption testing

A study published ahead of print in the Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics examines the relationship between fructose and lactose intolerance with symptoms in functional gastrointestinal disorders

News image

The association of fructose and lactose intolerance and malabsorption with the symptoms of different functional gastrointestinal disorders remains unclear.

Professor Wilder-Smith and colleagues from Switzerland investigated the prevalence of fructose and lactose intolerance and malabsorption, and their association with clinical gastrointestinal as well as non-clinical gastrointestinal symptoms in functional gastrointestinal.

In addition, the team examined the outcome of dietary intervention.

The research team demonstrated fructose and lactose intolerance and malabsorption in 1372 functional gastrointestinal disorders patients in a single center using breath testing.

Results were correlated with clinical symptoms in different functional gastrointestinal disorders Rome III subgroups.

The doctors assessed that the effectiveness of a targeted saccharide-reduced diet after 6–8 weeks.

Intolerance prevalence across all functional gastrointestinal disorders was 60% to fructose, 51% to lactose, and 33% to both.

Malabsorption occurred in 45%, 32% and 16% respectively.

Adequate symptom relief was achieved in 80% of intolerant patients
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics

The research team found that there were no differences in intolerance or malabsorption prevalence between functional gastrointestinal disorders subgroups.

Functional gastrointestinal disorders symptoms correlated with symptoms evoked during testing, but not with malabsorption.

The team of doctors found that non-clinical gastrointestinal symptoms occurred more commonly in patients with intolerances.

Methane breath levels were not associated with constipation using several cut-off thresholds.

The research team noted that adequate symptom relief was achieved in 80% of intolerant patients, irrespective of malabsorption.

Fructose and lactose intolerances are common in functional gastrointestinal disorders and associated with increased non-clinical gastrointestinal symptoms, but not with specific functional gastrointestinal disorders subtypes.

Professor Wilder-Smith's team concluded, "Symptoms experienced during breath testing, but not malabsorption, correlate with functional gastrointestinal disorders symptoms.

"Effective symptom relief with dietary adaptation is not associated with malabsorption."

"Mechanisms relating to the generation of clinical gastrointestinal and non-clinical gastrointestinal symptoms due to lactose and fructose in functional gastrointestinal disorders need to be explored further."

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2013: DOI: 10.1111/apt.12306
12 April 2013

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