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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is fructose intolerance preventable?

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  • Joy Anderson

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Joy is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist, as well as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). She has a special interest in … View Profile

    No, fructose intolerance is not preventable, but can be managed with food choices that are low in excess fructose, both excess overall and excess in proportion to glucose. (See other questions on this topic.)

  • Specializing in weight reduction, diabetes and cholesterol management, high blood pressure, GIT disorders - including IBS, coeliac disease, food intolerance and food chemical sensitivity, childhood … View Profile

    No. There are certain sugars that are indigestible. These are known as fermentable, poorly absorbed short -chain carbohydrates. Fructose is a single sugar mainly found in fruit. When it occurs with glucose it is well absorbed. When there is excess fructose the absorption is incomplete. This situation is called fructose malabsorption. This is not an illness or a condition. It is just a part of a persons physiology. In order to control the symptoms you need to control the amount of ‘free fructose’ that you consume.

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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

    The question should really be "Is irritable bowel syndrome preventable? Fructose malabsorption is a normal phenomenon. It affects 34% of healthy people and a similar proportion of people with gut disorders. Symptoms only occur if the individual malabsorbs fructose AND has some sort of gut disorder such as irritable bowel. So, there is no need to prevent fructose malabsorption. It does not cause any problems, but can contribute to symptoms when IBS is present.

    What is known about IBS is that it can occur following a gastrointestinal bug, food poisoning event or following GI surgery, but in many cases there is no known trigger. It is also very common in people with other GI diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease. We do not know how to prevent IBS. We wonder about the role of probiotics, but there is no convincing evidence to suggest that any probiotic can cure or prevent IBS.

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