Fructose Malabsorption May Be Gender Dependent and Fails to Show Compensation by Colonic Adaptation
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- Szilagyi, A., Malolepszy, P., Yesovitch, S. et al. Dig Dis Sci (2007) 52: 2999. doi:10.1007/s10620-006-9652-9
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Fructose malabsorption is linked to gastrointestinal and other unusual symptoms. Polymers of fructose are also recognized prebiotics. While some prebiotics can self-adapt when consumed regularly (resulting in decreased breath hydrogen and symptoms), we wondered whether self-adaptation occurs with basic fructose. We evaluated 90 subjects (61 females). Each completed a diet questionnaire and underwent a fructose challenge. Breath hydrogen and quantified symptom scores were recorded. Group comparisons for sum of breath hydrogen and total symptom scores were evaluated with the Mann-Whitney U test. Spearman’s correlation coefficient and χ2 or Fisher’s exact test were used as appropriate. Malabsorption occurred in 29 patients (32.2%) and low-grade symptoms without malabsorption in 30 (33%). Women complained of symptoms more frequently (p = 0.04) and exhibited more fructose malabsorption (p = 0.0527). Breath hydrogen correlated with symptoms (r = 0.516, p = 0.0037). Adaptation with increasing pretest fructose intake was absent. We conclude that gender may influence fructose malabsorption and there is no adaptation to regular consumption.