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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is fructose intolerance?

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    Jaci Barrett is an accredited practising dietitian and one of the leading Monash University researchers involved in the development of the Low FODMAP Diet for … View Profile

    Firstly using the term fructose intolerance is confusing. Hereditary fructose intolerance is a serious genetic digestive disorder, diagnosed in infancy and requiring complete fructose restriction in all forms. The term fructose malabsorption, is what has been established in the past decade as a likely contributor to symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Malabsorption of fructose is normal; in a healthy gut that malabsorbs the sugar, ingestion of high fructose foods might produce some wind and have a natural laxative effect but not affect the individual in a negative way. In IBS sufferers who malabsorb fructose, ingestion of the sugar creates excessive gas production causing wind, abdominal pain and bloating, with motility changes leading to diarrhoea or constipation.

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